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Paul Clough

This article argues that the moral dimensions of the term 'culture' have been under-theorized in anthropology. The argument stems from a particular reading of the Western philosophy of ethics. Based in economic anthropology, I explore how an understanding of the moral imperative can illuminate differences in processes of accumulation. After a discussion of the concept of morality in philosophy and in recent anthropology, I go on to examine the principles of altruism and reciprocal utility in the light of theories of kinship and of rational choice. I then outline an argument concerning the general form of moral reasoning. According to this argument, kinship classifications function logically to synthesize variable distributions in different societies of two interconnected principles—altruism and reciprocal utility.

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Vital Energy

The Current of Relations

Stephen Gudeman

'Vital energy' is a central idea in the economies of Panama and Colombia. Known as 'strength' or 'force', and assembled from the environment, this current connects all activities in the local economies and establishes relationships, from kin to strangers. Humans compose vital energy, but its sources are limited, and it is expended in use. Its availability is a gift from God and part of the unpredictable fortune that faces everyone. This economy exhibits a contrast between a social current and a market currency. It offers a materialist perspective, provides a critique of standard economics, suggests that sharing rather than reciprocity or rational choice is the 'fundamental' economic practice, and shows how an economy may be a kind of ritual legitimated by a belief in divine power that is displayed through personal fortune.

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Revived nationalism versus European democracy

Class and "identity dilemmas" in contemporary Serbia

Theodora Vetta

Following the Belgrade riots after Kosovo's proclamation of independence in February 2008 and the rise of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party in elections since 2001, several analysts have portrayed Serbia as a highly divided and confused nation unable to choose between a European, urban, and cosmopolitan democrat identity and a patriarchal, peasant, and collectivists nationalist one. This article historicizes this widespread culture-talk by ethnographically grounding it in particular processes that constitute Serbia's trajectory toward free market economy and liberal democracy. The concept of class as an analytical tool appears accurate in trying to understand people's biographies and political choices. By deconstructing popular cultural stereotypes of Radikali, the article argues that nationalism provides a framework that resonates most with the material and symbolic needs of a wide range of population. In the absence of a strong institutionalized left, the political choices of "nationalism's supporters" are based more on rational choice than on identity quests and strategies of manipulation.

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Arpad Szakolczai

Since its birth, but especially since its academic institutionalization, sociology has been plagued by a series of dualisms and dichotomies that seriously diminish the relevance of much of sociological work. To start with, there is the opposition of theoretical and empirical soci- ology; an opposition that should have been stillborn, as it is com- monplace that theoretical work without empirical evidence is arid, while empirical research without theory is spiritless and boring, but continues to survive and even thrive. There is also the division between substantive and methodological issues, creating the impres- sion of two separate realms and the illusion of a ‘free choice’ of method. One can continue with the contrast between methodological individualism and collectivism that in our days culminates in the var- ious debates around rational choice theory, but which is just the old debate between (neo-classical) economics and classical (Durk- heimian) social theory, in new clothes. Still further, there is the dilemma of dynamic versus static approaches, which could be for- mulated in the language of historical versus structural, or of genetic versus genetic. There is furthermore the dichotomy dominating so much of contemporary sociology, between agency and structure, which is just another way of posing the contrast between action and system, dominating the structural-functionalism of the 1950s and 1960s, or the even older opposition between object and subject and their dialectic, central for German idealist philosophy. At an even more general level, there is the question of the link between reality and thought, the extent to which thought and discourses can properly reproduce reality, or, on the contrary, the claims about the autonomy of discourse, or the independence of the text, a theme particular cher- ished by various postmodern approaches.

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Edited by Soheila Shahshahani

Rehenuma Asmi it is the majlis , this space for discussion among relatives, which has allowed for rational choices of women. Having seen Qatari society being family centric as opposed to individualistic, we can then move to the third article, which

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Military Violence in Its Own Right

The Microsocial Foundations of Physical Military Violence in Noncombat Situations

Nir Gazit and Eyal Ben-Ari

situations. The Scholarly Field and Our Study A plethora of studies have focused on the macrosociological analysis of military violence in noncombat situations. The two major approaches dominating this endeavor are new institutionalism and rational choice

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Social Protest and Its Discontents

A System Justification Perspective

Vivienne Badaan, John T. Jost, Danny Osborne, Chris G. Sibley, Joaquín Ungaretti, Edgardo Etchezahar, and Erin P. Hennes

oppressed simply because those circumstances are regarded as inevitable or unavoidable? This state of affairs is especially puzzling from the standpoint of rational choice theories, which suggest that people weigh the costs and benefits of collective action

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’Tis but a Habit in an Unconsolidated Democracy

Habitual Voting, Political Alienation and Spectatorship

Anthony Lawrence A. Borja

intertwined objectives: (1) engage the ‘voting paradox’ through a framework synthesising the context-based theory of habitual voting, a processual adaptation of the expectancy-value approach of the rational choice theory (RCT), and the learning approach to

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Conceptualizing sub-national regional cooperation

Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia case study

Diana Morales

Standing organizations New administrative units Mergers Metropolitan areas Polycentric regions Source: Author, based on Citroni, Lippi, & Profeti, 2013 ; Egermann, 2009 and Hulst & Van Montfort, 2007. Based on the rational choice

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Christian Schweiger

the South-Eastern European crisis countries were aching under the bitter medicine of austerity. It also became less of a rational choice for the outside periphery, as the cee member states inside and outside the Eurozone moved closer to the British