Memetics and the Cultural Olympiad

Posted on October 21, 2008


I will be giving a paper at the 2nd ITSA bi-annual conference on “Globalisation, mega-events and tourism”, 6-9th November in Shanghai.  The paper is the latest output from the research I have been carrying out with a colleague, Nikki MacLeod, into the Cultural Olympiad of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  In this paper, we set out our memetic framework for the conceptualisation of the Cultural Olympiad and the paper’s abstract is below:



“This paper proposes the development of a memetic framework for analysing and evaluating the Cultural Olympiad of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  A review of grey literature has revealed five recurring themes or memes (units of cultural transmission) associated with the Cultural Olympiad and the authors predict that they will be transmitted spatially, through planning and delivery processes and between the formal sectors of the Cultural Olympiad.  The paper proposes a methodology which includes a longitudinal study of three UK case studies in the four year run-up to the 2012 Olympics. These case studies (London Borough of Greenwich, Canterburyand Durham) will be the subject of quantitative and qualitative analysis which the authors hope will reveal valuable insights into the frequency, transmission and longevity of the identified memes.  The memetic framework proposed may provide future guidance for the planning and evaluation of public projects both within and outside the Olympic realm.”


Posted in: olympics, Theory, Tourism