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Статья

The Importance of Gossip Across Societies: Correlations with Institutionalization

Cross-Cultural Research. 2015. Vol. 49. No. 3. P. 297-314.
Demerath L., Korotayev A.

This article presents a cross-cultural analysis that explores the relationship between the importance of gossip and institutionalization. It is reasoned that as institutionalization increases, so does the difficulty of attaining direct information about events and people that would be consequential for any given individual. As a result, gossip should increase with institutionalization, and complexity generally. This general hypothesis is tested against data from a sample of recent and historical societies. The analysis finds support for the hypothesis and also explores the relationship between gossip and gender autonomy. The results are discussed in terms of understanding gossip as a strategy for attaining information when direct information gathering is inhibited by one’s social structural circumstances. The article closes with a discussion of possible implications for contemporary societies. © 2014 SAGE Publications.