Despite the fact that culture, aesthetics, and art were some of the main concerns of early classical sociology (e.g., Simmel’s essays are probably the most popular reference in this regard), later culture has become a matter of interest of a sub-discipline, that of the sociology of culture. The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries brought a radical transformation of sociological understanding of culture, and it was Jeffrey Alexander who revived the notion and proposed a new understanding of sociological theory drawn on this notion. According to Alexander, culture should be treated as an autonomous realm being able to act and contribute to the social order. In (re)turning to this understanding, Alexander draws upon a variety of now-classical theories, but mainly on Durkheim’s theory of religion as explicated in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Clifford Geertz and his idea of thick description is one of the sources for the renewed cultural sociology. In Art as a Cultural System (1976), he wrote that “to study an art form is to explore a sensibility” and “such a sensibility is essentially a collective formation, and that the foundations of such a formation are as wide as social existence and as deep”. The special issue of the RSR is dedicated to empirical and theoretical discussion of how art can serve as a source of sociological imagination.
This third edition of Moral Constraints on War offers a principle by principle presentation of the ethics of war as is found in the age-old tradition of the Just War. Parts one and two trace the evolution of Just War Theory, analyzing the principles of jus ad bellum and jus in bello: the principles that determine the conditions under which it is just to start a war and then conduct military operations. Each chapter provides a historical background of the principle under discussion and an in-depth analysis of its meaning. More so than in the previous editions, there is a special focus on the transcultural nature of the principles. Besides theoretical clarifications, each of the principles is also put to the test with numerous historical and contemporary examples. In Part three, Just War Theory is applied in three specific case studies: the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in World War II, the Korean War (1950-53), and the use of armed drones in the "war on terror." Bringing together an international coterie of philosophers and political scientists, this accessible and practical guide offers both students of military ethics and of international relations rich, up-to-date insights into the pluralistic character of Just War Theory.
Featuring scholars at the forefront of contemporary political theology and the study of German Idealism, Nothing Absolute explores the intersection of these two flourishing fields. Against traditional approaches that view German Idealism as a secularizing movement, this volume revisits it as the first fundamentally philosophical articulation of the political-theological problematic in the aftermath of the Enlightenment and the advent of secularity. Nothing Absolute reclaims German Idealism as a political-theological trajectory. Across the volume’s contributions, German thought from Kant to Marx emerges as crucial for the genealogy of political theology and for the ongoing reassessment of modernity and the secular. By investigating anew such concepts as immanence, utopia, sovereignty, theodicy, the Earth, and the world, as well as the concept of political theology itself, this volume not only rethinks German Idealism and its aftermath from a political-theological perspective but also demonstrates what can be done with (or against) German Idealism using the conceptual resources of political theology today.
This book presents the main findings of a study on school learning environments and student outcomes, which the World Bank conducted in 2019 in three regions of the Russian Federation. Using data collected through the OECD School User Survey and the pilot “Trends in Mathematics and Science Study” (TIMSS), the book analyzes how a school’s infrastructure and learning environment may affect the progress and success of students in math and science. It also delves into teaching practices, analyzing their impact on learning and highlighting the important nexus between learning environments and teaching methods. The book concludes by recommending areas in which focused attention by educational authorities could improve educational policy and help maintain high-quality learning environments. The book will be useful for educators, school principals, architects, and policy makers who are involved in school infrastructure projects and are interested in increasing their knowledge of school design planning.
The Short Course on the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) defined Stalinist ideology both at home and abroad. It was quite literally the the master narrative of the USSR—a hegemonic statement on history, politics, and Marxism-Leninism that scripted Soviet society for a generation. This study exposes the enormous role that Stalin played in the development of this all-important text, as well as the unparalleled influence that he wielded over the Soviet historical imagination.
Our culture represents the whole of the integrity of the 40-thousands-years-old human semiosis. Generally speaking, the human world is meaningful by definition. Mass culture is a form of cultural development appearing together especially with industrial society. Despite it having appeared more than a century ago, it maintains its relevance nowadays and becomes a basis for new dimensions of culture (digital, transmedial, consumer culture). Within the framework of general emancipatory philosophical-anthropological perspective, mass culture appears as a semiotic space and meaningful environment. It is constituted by diversity of commodities, services and facilities of their production, as well as daily and regular social practices, which become possible in relation to them, and consequently create a certain way of life of a modern human being. The heuristic idea of J.Lotman to consider culture as a semiosphere provides an important perspective to understand mass culture as a subsystem of the entire semiosphere. From this perspective, mass culture may be seen as a semiosphere with a peculiar inner organization.
The present dissertation provides an account to consider mass culture mythology as an inner secondary-modelling system, a mechanism of organization of mass culture texts into a consistent system. Due to the mythological mechanism, the mosaic discrete environment becomes a meaningful continual world similar to ancient mythological system full of existential values, which are comprehensible to everyone.
The Firs Chapter dwells upon the ontology of mass culture mythology in detail. Myth is regarded as universal of culture preserving own nature along the whole history of mankind. Myth universally reflects ways of experiencing world and individual’s presence. Universal of myth is a result of mythological mind which is a peculiar human cognitive aptitude situated on a verge between intuition and rational awareness of the world and leading to continual type of reality perception. It helps human being to overcome existential discrepancies of the opposition individual vs. nature and facilitates choices in overwhelming environment of competing meanings where discrete/discontinuous perception is impeded. The main function of myth is to decrease entropy by reconciling individual with reality and to preserve a comprehensible model of universe for human being. As a cultural form, myth is represented by mythological texts such as narratives, images, and symbols. Mass cultural mythology is a specific research object in marketing semiotics industry. Thus, the ontology of mass culture mythology, deriving from treatment of myth as cultural universal, can be deduced as a principle of organization and structuring of mass culture in integral semiosphere. Those principles reveal themselves in the four main ontological aspects of mass culture mythology: peculiar reason-consequential linkage, anthropocentricity, specific mythological chronotope and “naming” as habitualization).
The Second Chapter is dedicated to epistemology of mass culture mythology. It is discussed that myth can be grasped through consistent mechanism of structural units which are mythemes and mythologemes. Those smallest units of myth derived from ancient texts and acquire certain contemporary forms within mass culture narrative preserving their consistency. I proceed from the findings of Levi-Strauss, Jung and Kerenyi, concerning the smallest structural units of myth, which are mythemes and mythologemes, to trace their manifestations within linguistics, ethnography, literature, political and culture studies, and develop their application to mass culture narratives expressing mythological mind. All mythologemes and mythemes cannot be entirely grasped as discrete elements. Rather, they are quasi-discrete units revealing themselves from syntagmatic relations, whereas they depend on context and their discreteness is occuring at the paradigmatic level of texts. Mythologeme and mytheme appear as emic and hybrid structural units respectively, though, mytheme can also be regarded as an invariant structure. To consider mythemes as invariants I used a complementary method of Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases.
I define mythologemes as universal invariants-kernels of mythological narrative expressing the universal ideas of a human being presence in the world, which help people to fill the gap between empirical reality and inexplicable phenomena. They can appear as actants within narrative. Mythemes, in my point of view, are invariant structural units deployed in mythological narrative resembling recurring motifemes that articulate their own entity in dynamics and development. In other words, mythologemes are paradigmatic invariants and mythemes are syntagmatic invariants. In ancient times their function was organizing beliefs about environment, their preservation and transmition in integral comprehensible form. Unlike ancient times when smallest units of myth were gathered within strong mythological systems of different local cultures, now they are splitted across different genres of global cultural texts and different fields: popular science, arts, advertising etc. To all appearances, in acquiring peculiar modes, mythologemes and mythemes preserve sustainability within mass culture discourse, they refer to universal human senses, and could be seen as semiotic markers of myth in daily narratives.
The presence of smallest mythological units in culture enables mechanism of translation of cultural texts synchronically and diachronically. As cultural universals, mythological elements “gravitate” towards the centre (bottom) of entire semiosphere, where they are concentrated in the most ancient, the most famous texts throughout entire history. At the same time, due to their simple form, they permeate all culture and help to contemporary texts of culture to acquire similarity to the most famous and commonly known and thus to move from the periphery to the center of semiosphere. In this way smallest mythological units trace the dialectics of semiosis in culture as permanent rotation of cultural forms. From another side, mythologemes and mythemes can be used in purpose in mass culture texts as they easily trigger mythological mind of the audience. They might become usually anchors of existential-mythological valorization during the process of choice between competing narratives. This reveals in marketing perspective during the process of decommoditization, which is a symbolic aspect of appropriation process of mass cultural goods.
Mythologemes and mythemes are dissipated and noticed by consumers during the process of decommoditization, which is a symbolic aspect of appropriation process of mass cultural goods. The decommoditization phenomenon means that goods and events transform their familiar meaning and utilitarian value to a unique subjective meaning and existential value for every single consumer depending on his or her anticipation. From a philosophical-anthropological point of view, this shift often means activation of the mythological mind of the consumers; in this case, structural units of mass culture mythology attract attention of consumers to those narratives. Very often it is the most significant possibility to become meaningful in diverse environment of different cultural texts due to existential-mythological valorization. I follow Lotman’s insight that myth becomes actual as autocommunication, so it says about listeners and organizes their world. It reveals as an aspiration of valorization that is possible to describe by Greimasian actantial model. The latter becomes a heuristic algorithm of mythologemes determination within mass culture narrative. Additionally I apply the Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases for structural analysis of mytheme.
In research I discussed upon several instances of the structural units of myth which are commonly present in mass cultural texts. I regarded mythologemes of Fate, Course, Universe, Catastrophe, Golden Age, and Mother Nature. Also I considered two universal ontological mythemes of Transformation and Backtracking.
I ascertained that mythologemes can either play a specific actantial role within a narrative (the Fate, the Course, and the Mother Nature) or describe mythological chronotope (the Universe, the Catastrophe, and the Golden Age). In their turn, mythemes reveal an inner strategy of unrolling mythological narrative frontwards or backwards. Deriving from texts of culture mythologemes and mythemes become a bridge between empirical reality and coherent world picture. They help to decrease existential anxiety of human being on the world finding tangible form to explain fear, justice/injustice, birth and death, time, transformation etc.
The mythologemes of Fate and Course fully reflect upon one of the main functions of myth, which is to grasp life as an integral whole. They emerge from the justice/injustice opposition, which is one of the most important semes penetrating mass culture discourse and one that hides behind the existential valorization and hence its mythological aspect. Justice or injustice often acquire a strong meaning of an independent, integral actant, which is capable of influencing the Subject within a narrative and, what is even more, to exist beyond the artistic text in real life, which is a strong marker of mythological mind. Those two mythologemes can be associated with an anthropogonic genre of myth so far as they explain personal life within autocommunication process. Mythologeme of Fate can be and Adjutant or Adversary within mythological narrative, mythologeme of Course appears as an Adjutant or an Object. They always relate to the search of Subject for a purpose of life and own existential way.
The mythologemes of Universe, Catastrophe and Golden Age express an archaic desire to grasp the world in its complexity and to find out its origin in categories of mythological mind. They represent the time-space of mass culture mythological narrative. Thus, the mythologeme of Universe has an existential meaning of integration of mass culture heterotopic picture of the world in present implying intercommunication with past and future and appears as an Object within narrative. Similarly to the archaic world picture in which the Universe loci used to intercommunicate via World Tree, the uniting mythological principal in the contemporary mass culture is a symbol of a window connecting, time and spaces, cultures, extraterrestrial worlds, and different types of everyday reality, i.e. physical and cyber reality, empirical and spiritual reality.
The mythologeme of Catastrophe unlike its archaic counterpart - the mythologeme of Flood - relates to future and does not describe past events. It works as a transformation point from existential fear of unpredictable future into calm and reassurance. It relates to the cosmogonic topic as well as it plays for preservation of the universe model embodied in the image of community (whole of the mankind). It plays role of an Adversary within narrative. It is also tightly intertwined with Christian discourse and more precise with eschatological ontology. In mass culture the role of an Antichrist (as an evident marker of the End of the World narrative) is ascribed to leaders of society or to societies themselves, which are the most odious.
The mythologeme of Golden Age alludes to the universal idea of Eutopia (Dreamland) situated in a forever bygone era (always in the past) that in mass culture is associated with the subject of childhood. It can appear as an Object or an Adversary within narrative. Thus, three of those mythologemes constitute an integral triad of time and space of the world (past-present-future) and reflect upon human existential quest for integral explanation of the world, nostalgy for the past and fears towards the future.
The mythologeme of Mother Nature relates to the existential search for inner authenticity and identity. Despite the feminist turn in contemporary mass culture discourse, this mythologeme unveils itself through the key opposition between culture (technology)/nature. It can take a form of an implicit idea represented by local traditional symbols, images, characters within general mass culture discourse, or this mythologeme can also take shape of an actant (Adjutant or Adversary) within narrative.
Meanwhile Greimasian actantial model shows relations between actants within either fictional/reflected narrative or factual reality, it is remarkable that mythological mind makes those realities to merge. In some cases (when Subject is a real person) it might appear that a real person acts together (being helped or opposed) with mythologeme as an Adjutant (Fate or Mother Nature mythologeme, for example).
The mytheme of Transformation, or Miracle, and the mytheme of Backtracking, are universal ontological mythemes exhibiting ideas about natural phenomena in culture and revealing them in mass culture texts. It is possible to examine them via the Weltanschauung Categories of Ultimate Bases, which demonstrates an inner process of negotiation and overcoming of life-death existential bases as discrete constituents of the mythemes. The mytheme of Transformation lays itself bare as an inner schema of mythological narrative about miracle, the mytheme of Backtracking reveals itself as a schema of “unwrapping the bygone past” and returning to mastered time and space and thereby constituting the center of semiosphere for a subject.
The smallest units of myth can be classified by different criteria. I classified them by their structural principle: the emic units (mythologemes) and the ones possessing hybrid structure (mythemes). It is also possible to classify the emic units by their subjects by way of analogy with ancient myths: cosmogonic, anthropogonic, and structuring social semiosphere. Cosmogonic mythologemes appear in the narratives about Universe and models of time and space and their origin. Those are the mythologeme of Universe, the mythologeme of Catastrophe and the mythologeme of Golden Age. Anthropogonic mythologemes are related to individuals’ life and its structure: the mythologeme of Fate and the mythologeme of Course. The mythologemes structuring social semiosphere through the quest of identity appear within mass culture narratives about collective memory (the Mother Nature mythologeme).
The Third Chapter exemplifies the process of finding more minimal units of myth in cultural texts of different genres. The first case was dedicated to close analysis of the television communication of the Ukrainian politician Darth Vader. I analyzed how communication of the politician involved important transmitters of mythological images for Ukrainian culture. I found out that his narrative was full of combinations of polar meanings discovering mythological dimension of the message. Two main protagonists of the communication were agents of two separate mythological generations: archaic mythology (Mother Nature) and contemporary mass culture mythology (Darth Vader). Among other structural units there were the Eutopia/Garden, the Trickster, and the Death. What is more some of those archaic mythologemes acquired new form within the text, in this way trickster appeared in image of Darth Vader and Eutopia in an image of the Internet Party. By combination of archaic meanings and contemporary forms the narrative became semiotically saturated and producing new powerful connotations. This case showed how a significant trickster’s image of mass culture became a bridge between mythological mind, mass culture, and political discourse.
As well, I demonstrated an applied case from my practice where I used the Mother Nature mythologeme as a branding tool. Semiotic analysis helped me to trace a problem of an artistic image disintegration and to find out a gap between forms of expression and values of the artist’s brand. Mapping the territories of the singer images, I discovered that her personal values and her authentic vocal persona clearly tend to the female image represented in culture by Mother Nature mythologeme most clearly. Demonstration of different cultural forms of the mythologeme helped to start building a coherent narrative around an artist’s brand and to select precise image corresponding to her inner identity (tone of voice of the brands, costumes and visual media representations etc.). In this case the mythologeme helped to articulate inner brand identity with appropriate forms of expression relevant to wide mass culture context and, thus, comprehensible to mass audience.
The Conclusions Section points out a potential of the further exploration of the mythologemes and mythemes in mass cultural texts for understanding human mind and culture better and for applied marketing purposes. The extension of the structural units of myth collection can provide with increase of tools for building coherent marketing messages.
The book contains tests and exercises to help learners improve their langugae skills.
This book is dedicated to Viktor Shklovsky literary and theoretical legacy
This collection of essays was published in a form of a catalogue for one of the propgrams screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Fstival in October 2019. The program entitled "The Creative Treatment of Grierson in Wartime Japan" was co-organized by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and the National Film Archive of Japan and presented a broad variety of wartime Japanese documentaries as well as British and Soviet films that have influenced them. The collection of essays explores the development of wartime Japanese documentary cinema from variety of historical and theoretical perspectives.
This training manual is addressed to law students, learning English for professional purposes.
The book consists of two parts:
Part 1 – Legal Listening
The main aim of the materials of the 1st part is teaching students listening to texts on legal topics in English. The materials are supplied with the recording of texts to practice in-class listening (on CD), they also contain communicative tasks and key answers as well as scripts. The texts cover the following themes: The Practice of Law, Company Law, Contract Law and Employment Law.
Part 2 - Legal Reading is directed to teaching students different kinds of reading based on authentic legal texts.
The texts of all the sections cover the following topics: Company Law, Contract Law, Family Law.
Both parts of the manual envisage exercises for both inclass and out-of- class work, including the use of the Internet.
The book includes Progress tests with answers.
The USSR is often regarded as the world's first propaganda state. Particularly under Stalin, politically charged rhetoric and imagery dominated the press, schools, and cultural forums from literature and cinema to the fine arts. Yet party propagandists were repeatedly frustrated in their efforts to promote a coherent sense of "Soviet" identity during the interwar years. This book investigates this failure to mobilize society along communist lines by probing the secrets of the party's ideological establishment and indoctrinational system. An exposé of systemic failure within Stalin's ideological establishment, Propaganda State in Crisis ultimately rewrites the history of Soviet indoctrination and mass mobilization between 1927 and 1941.
A major contribution to the growing literature on Soviet nationality policy. David Brandenberger frames his study with a large and important question: the generation of a Russian/Soviet national identity during the Stalinist years. He tells the important story of the production of a more nationalist world view and how it was received, moving from elites to the masses. Focusing on history and historians, Brandenberger links historiography with nation-making and state building. This work should be widely read, not least because it clearly and eloquently illuminates the painful process of forging national identity. (Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Chicago) Brandenberger alters our understanding of how Soviet culture was created and how it held Soviet society together. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the foundation of documents on which it rests. Clearly the result of years of gathering, these documents show us Stalinism as received, as a set of social practices and discourses in constant revision and misuse. National Bolshevism illuminates broader debates about the functioning of Soviet society, the origins of national consciousness, and the formation of the subject with the modern state, and will be a widely read contribution to the field. (James von Geldern, Macalester College)
The editorial introduction outlines the theoretical framework of the special issue by indicating main ideas that shape the research agenda. Alexander Filippov and Nail Farkhatdinov provide the grounds for the cultural sociological understanding of the arts and literature in relation to the problems of sociological knowledge. The editorial is completed with the overview of the contributions.
Gregory Palamas has faced a problem of compatibility of two theological provisions within his doctrine based on the distinction of substance and non-created activities in God: these are, firstly, that God is unalterable, and, secondly, that He acts accordingly with time in relation to the created world, in particular, having made the created being. This background caused polemical argumentations on the possibility of signifying the divine activities as accident. The notion of accident here refers to the context ascending to the Peripatetic tradition, yet modified in writings of such Christian authors as Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria and John Damascene. Palamas addresses this topic in two of his works, Antirrh. c. Acind and Capita 150, written within the interval of five or six years. We see that Palamas is moving towards a more detailed notion of accident while considering its applicability to divine activities: this is him moving to the notion of inseparable accidents. But even in this sense, the accident, compliant to Palamas, must not be attributed to God and divine activities, though the Church tradition used to do this. Palamas finds a solution of this tension by pointing out that the notion of accident was used by the Church tradition in an improper sense. Meanwhile, his ally David Dishypatus takes a more subtle position: he admits a possibility to apply the notion of accident to the divine activities, but minding core restrictions of the human language, which speaks of God only within the horizon of human nature.
The present paper discusses perspectives of Activity Theory (AT) in the context of contemporary globalizing world, describing which we refer to the notion “De-structuralized modernity” (Sorokin & Froumin, 2020). Radical changes in everyday life challenge social sciences and humanities. Approaches are in demand, which have the potential to comprehend the changing human étant and éntre. We argue that Activity Theory has the potential to face these challenges. Leontiev’s AT grounds on the idea of qualitatively new mental features arising to deal with novel environmental challenges, which is much in line with J.M. Baldwin reasoning on evolution. AT also offers a method to prognosis the upcoming neoplasms. In the same time, applying classics of AT to the current reality, “De-structuralized modernity”, entails the need for new theoretical elaborations of the latter, stemming from the radical transformation of the relations between individual and socio-cultural environments. A unique societal context emerges on the global level, which, on the one hand, requires individual to adapt constantly to changing socio-cultural reality, and, on the other hand, dramatically expands his/her potential for proactive actorhood transforming surrounding structures. We argue that the major and novel challenge for the individual is the task of maintaining the integrity and coherence of the a) Self-identity and b) system of links in and with the socio-cultural environment - in their dynamics and unity. The notion of “culture” has particular relevance and importance in this context because it allows grasping simultaneously two dimensions in their dynamic dialectical interrelations. First, the “internal” (“subjective”, “in the minds”) and “external” (“objective”, material and institutional environment) realities. Second, individual (“micro”) and societal (“macro”) scales of human activities. Discussing the ways to understand these dynamics, we dispute the popular “constitutive view” on personality and refer to the concept of the “ontological shift” (Mironenko & Sorokin, 2018). We also highlight how technological advancements change and “expand” human nature making it capable to deal with the outlined new tasks.
In August 1935, a group of intellectuals who gathered in Vilna at a jubilee conference of the Jewish Scientific Institute, YIVO, announced the founding of a movement called the Yiddish Culture Front (YCF), whose aim would be to ensure the preservation of Yiddish culture. The article focuses on the congress convened by the YCF in Paris. The congress, a landmark in the history of Yiddishism, opened on September 17, 1937, before a crowd of some 4,000 attendees. 104 delegates represented organizations and institutions from 23 countries. Radically anti-Soviet groups boycotted the convention, considering it a communist ploy. Ironically, the Kremlin cancelled the participation of a Soviet delegation at the last moment. From the vantage point of the delegates, Paris was the only logical center for its World Yiddish Cultural Association (IKUF or YIKUF) created after the congress. However, the French capital was not destined to become the world capital of Yiddish intellectual life. Influential circles of Yiddish literati, still torn by ideological strife rather than united in any common cultural “Yiddishland,” remained concentrated in America, Poland, and the Soviet Union.
Review on Eleonory Gilburd, To See Paris and Die: The Soviet Lives of Western Culture. Cambridge, MA, Belknap press, of Harvard Unversity Press, 2018.
This article looks at the so called curatorial statements in global art biennials, that is to say the discourses that independent curators put together so as to interpret, justify, and explain what their exhibitions are about to art professionals, experts and the public. It asks, through which value systems curatorial branding hails and crafts middle-class, educated and self-reflective lifestyles and publics with high cultural and often symbolic capital? I will be arguing that these statements constitute a form of writing genre that follows recurring linguistic patterns, involving strategic gestures of negating dominant culture, refusing idiosyncratic straw-man narratives and blending expert with populist vocabularies. While seemingly written by socially engaged and critical ‘auteurs', these gestures of curatorial self-presentation can be read as tools for producing surplus value in line with creative economy's celebration of uniqueness, difference and unconventionality. I analyze several statements from recent large scale biennials in terms of the binary oppositions they fabricate, the both mass and specialized audiences they address and the confessional, self-reflective politics they employ. The writing and reading of these statements correspond to forms of acquired cultural capital, for instance through education or through the experience of belonging in art milieus. Contemporary biennials thus remediate the arena of cultural distinction as the ‘cultivated’ in these settings are not expected to be out-and-above-of-society experts similarly to the modern art of the past but amateur polymaths and cultural omnivores who are able to discover uniqueness and unconventionality within the total realm of cultural production.
We report on an experimental study that was set up to reveal differences in the tendencies of men and women to cooperate in same-sex interactions. Former studies on this subject were mostly conducted in industrialized modern societies. In contrast, we tested the cooper- ation tendency among Buryats, a people from Southern Siberia of Mongolian origin. All sub- jects participated in (1) one iterated Public Goods Game in a group of four individuals of the same sex and (2) four one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma games with different partners of the same sex. The interactions were in a face-to-face setting, but any intentional communication during the experiments was prohibited. We found that Buryat men were more cooperative than Buryat women in both types of same-sex interactions. In particular, the fraction of men employing a strategy of unconditional cooperation in the iterated Public Goods Game was much higher (36%) than the fraction of unconditional cooperators among women (21%). In general, the behavior of men was less context dependent than the behavior of women. In both sexes, individuals who were more cooperative in one type of game tended to be more cooperative in the other type of game. Although direct communication was prohibited, the interaction partners in the Prisoner’s Dilemma games employed the same strategy much more frequently than expected by chance. We conclude that, even among strangers, the exchange of subtle signals is sufficient to coordinate strategic decisions.
The evolution of social institutions, particularly of rites of passage, is a gradual process in West Africa, drawing on a centuries-long body of tradition, and influenced by various cultural, economic and political factors. Today, gathering piece-by-piece the oral tradition of the history of the rites of passage of a small ethnic group in eastern Ghana, one can find many examples of how these practices are adaptive by their very nature (Baiburin 1993). The structure of the rite has been shaped by various external factors and historical process. The attempt to explain such rites by saying simply that ‘the ancestors did it this way’ is insufficient. Rather, a regularized socialization practice, in this case rites of passage, shares its functions with a number of other socialization practices, while it continues to evolve.
Lacking state-imposed quarantines, we’ve been abandoned to personal choices. Advising us to save ourselves and our neighbors by staying home, our governments struggle to keep the wrong doubts from going viral. The Russian state, in particular, has announced crackdowns on fake news: citing the danger of Covid-19, new laws harshly penalize the “spread of false information.” But accusations of falsity are as bottomless as the hoaxes they try to contain. States accuse each other of spreading disinformation, and scholars show that these accusations are themselves often false, that “an EU-funded body set up to fight disinformation ends up producing it.” The falsity of such accusations of falsity gives fodder for new accusations. And thus the battle against an infectious pandemic becomes overshadowed by the battle for faith, against doubt. In this “infodemic,” America’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges citizens to do these “three easy things: Don’t believe the rumors; Don’t pass them along; Go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.”
Can a state agency order citizens (not) to believe?