- Slides: 7
INTERNET CULTURE: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MEMES!
Origin The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek “imitated thing“, “to imitate“, “mime“) and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Adapted from Wikipedia
Definition A meme is a term employed in certain theories of culture to refer to “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. “ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures. Adapted from Wikipedia
Today As you can see, even though the concept of meme has a scientific origin, what most people would associate with the concept of meme today would be exclusively humourous representation of picture and text. While a few years ago, memes were a rather exclusive and niche part of internet culture, it has now recently become into this mainstream cultural monster that it is today.
Can you name a few sites where you can find memes? � � � � � Facebook 9 gag Memebase/cheezeburger/know your meme Memecenter Quickmeme Reddit Weknowmemes Lavalmeme/uqammeme (etc. ) And many more!
Can you name me a few memes? No I won’t quite name thousand or so of them here…
Know your meme is a site (and a You. Tube channel) where they post memes but also videos explaining popular memes. It is a nice way to start and discover how certain meme works if you are not familiar with English memes. I make the distinction here between English and French memes as English memes work like, more often than not, inside jokes (you need to understand the context and how the meme works for it to be funny) while French memes, which is a relatively recent phenomenon to start with, are much more explicit (to the point where they, in my humble opinion, remove that pleasure of trying to “work it out” in your head). Here are two introductory video made by Know Your Meme, the first one explains “Rage Guy/Face”, which is arguably the first humourous meme of the internet. From this stemmed other such carricatural faces expressing different emotions. The second one is what I would call a “second generation” meme, which is a picture with text above and under it. Know Your Meme: Rage Comic Know Your Meme: Joseph Ducreux