The magic of meme —On memetics and its development in China

Juming Shen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Meme, in line with the concept gene in the study of biological evolution, was born as a semiotic concept for the study of culture evolution. Like many other new concepts, meme has experienced both compliments and criticisms from many researchers in different fields since its birth in 1976. Through years of development, it has been established into Memetics—a new branch of study accompanied by specialized journals and a number of research findings. This paper first clarifies the concept of "meme" and then surveys both the compliments and criticisms that memetics has received worldwide through explaining the relations between memetics and social evolution and eco-semiotics, the differentiation between the "meme" and "sign", as well as the different comments on The Meme Machine. Finally, an introduction to the related studies of memetics in China is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Semiotic Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes

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