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"Memes are cultural and behavioral units that survive and spread through imitation and adaptation." Richard Dawkins defined memes in the 1970s, and this was one of his definitions. He used to refer to the meme as a cultural gene, and he believed that any community worth its salt had to have some memes associated with it. These memes took the form of various dances, greetings from various communities, and hairstyles worn by various communities. It is undeniable that memes are cultural units in a variety of ways. From the definition, it is clear that memes are usually copies that are passed down from generation to generation via observation. From knowledge about observation, one only observes the things that hap in the community and most of the things that happened in the community are all cultural. Therefore anything that is observed in the community is cultural at any given time. Since all of this is true, then the memes that are observed from the community are also part of the community and shows on the parts where the community has gone wrong or the part of the community that is in the correct path and in this way the memes will help to change the society as no one wants any wrong and negative things that happen in the community to be transferred to the next generation to be emulated since all this will lead to the destruction of the community which no one intends to bring about. Also about the unit of culture, the memes are the only trace that certain communities have in order to trace their communities background and even know on what the community is expected to do from the past from its ancestors and how they are required to tackle the problem. Therefore, from the memes as the different observations that the people have got from the community that had been there before them, they are able to know on how to tackle that specific difficulty. In this way, the memes will always make the community a better place to always live in.

Memes are also described as a behavior of the people in the community that they are in. “Evolutionary models of culture assume that culture is made up of specific units called memes.” From the definition, it is quite clear that the memes act as a link between the different times of the community. The community has rules which have to be followed no matter what time of history it is. The rules are never to change. These are the type of rules that are passed from the oldest people in the community to the youngest people in the community that through observation, the young peep are able to observe on what should and what should not be done in the community. In this way, there will be a pass of information through the memes from one generation to the next. This is to maintain a good behaviors in the community and ensure that any wrong behavior in the community is punished and at the same time corrected in order to ensure that there will be no repeat of the same mistake again. At times, the memes are even meant to be funny in order to make sure that the people see the level of intelligence that the person who has done the mistake has. Also, it is meant to make sure that the people are able to judge for themselves that if they were in the same situation what they would have done different in order to avoid the embarrassment through the use of the memes.

The memes are able to spread through the method of imitation. “There was no set of criteria for determining whether or not the chosen units or “chunks” of information actually cut up culture at its natural joints.” Just like a child when he is born, he tries to adapt to the society through the process of imitation. He always imitates whatever he sees in the people who are older than him. He is not at this time able to know on what is won and what is right. At this time, his main objective is to act as the rest of the people act. However, the parents always check on him so that they can be able to warn the child against what is wrong and what is correct. Just in the same way, the people in the community, moreover, the young people, will always want to imitate whatever is happening in the community and copy and this is what they will use once they grow older. They always tend to imitate everything without distinguishing what should be done and should not be done. Some are vices while some are important in the lives of the people. Therefore in this case, the memes that the community allows the people to get should all be of help to the later community and this is therefore omen of the functions of the memes where they are able to maintain a good community as they also want a better future for their kids and they tend to be good so that they cannot be imitated in any way by the younger people.

In conclusion, an explanation to the definition of memes is that memes are able to survive through all these phases of life by adaptation. “A Theory of Adaptation explores the continuous development of creative adaptation, and argues that the practice of adapting is central to the storytelling Imagination.” Whenever a person learns something new anywhere, he always wants to experiment it in order to make sure that it is correct and it is working. Therefore, when all these observations are taken in by the younger people in the community, they are taken in and they tend to practice by themselves whenever they are alone for them to also feel as art of the community and this is what they practice even when they grow old. The act of practicing is also helpful since through the practice, the chances of forgetting are very low. Therefore, through the practice, the younger people are able to maintain all of what they observe in their minds and keep it till the time comes for them to use whatever they have mastered and adapted in their lives. In this case, memes play a very important role in the communities that we live in. They are the major points of correcting the community and even for storing the daily activities and rules of the community. Memes should continue being supported even in the current world to ensure that the previous good communities continue to grow and even help other communities with the information that they need in order for them to also thrive and become successful like the rest of the other successful communities.


Dahdal, Sohail. “Using Collaborative Gaming to Engage Arab Youth in Cultural Memes,” The Journal of Social Media in Society 5, no. 3 (2016): 316-344.

Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation. London: Routledge, 2012.

Metahaven. Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?. Moscow: Strelka Press, 2013.

Solon, Olivia. “Richard Dawkins on the Internet’s Hijacking of the Word ‘Meme,’” Wired UK. Last modified June 20, 2013. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/richard-dawkins-memes.

Sperber, Dan. Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996.

August 26, 2022
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Mems Future

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