Culture as Memes?

Wed, 2 Oct 1996 12:47:18 CST

G. O'Regonsuggests that American culture could be described in terms of
memes on which there was a high degree of consensus. He even estimates
the size of American culture, namely, about a thousand of these things.
I am surprised to hear this level of enthusiasm for identifying and
counting distinct memes. Could existing opinion-survey data banks be
used in this way? I would like to hear more about this. From my
perspective, however, the most we could get from this approach would be
a description of "American culture's" interpretations of reality--only
one of the three sectors of a society's culture, the other two being its
interfaces with physical and social environments, and its modes of
social interaction (economically, politically, domestically, and
ritually). --Bob Graber