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About this product
- DescriptionWhy do Internet, financial service, and beer commercials dominate Super Bowl advertising? How do political ceremonies establish authority? Why does repetition characterize anthems and ritual speech? Why were circular forms favored for public festivals during the French Revolution? This book answers these questions using a single concept: common kwledge. Game theory shows that in order to coordinate its actions, a group of people must form common kwledge. Each person wants to participate only if others also participate. Members must have kwledge of each other, kwledge of that kwledge, kwledge of the kwledge of that kwledge, and so on. Michael Chwe applies this insight, with striking erudition, to analyze a range of rituals across history and cultures. He shows that public ceremonies are powerful t simply because they transmit meaning from a central source to each audience member but because they let audience members kw what other members kw. For instance, people watching the Super Bowl kw that many others are seeing precisely what they see and that those people kw in turn that many others are also watching. This creates common kwledge, and advertisers selling products that depend on consensus are willing to pay large sums to gain access to it. Remarkably, a great variety of rituals and ceremonies, such as formal inaugurations, work in much the same way. By using a rational-choice argument to explain diverse cultural practices, Chwe argues for a close reciprocal relationship between the perspectives of rationality and culture. He illustrates how game theory can be applied to an unexpectedly broad spectrum of problems, while showing in an admirably clear way what game theory might hold for scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are t yet acquainted with it. In a new afterword, Chwe delves into new applications of common kwledge, both in the real world and in experiments, and considers how generating common kwledge has become easier in the digital age.
- Author BiographyMichael Suk-Young Chwe is Associate Professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and author of Jane Austen, Game Theorist (Princeton).
- Author(s)Michael Suk-Young Chwe
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication21/05/2013
- SubjectCultural Studies
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note8 halftones. 23 line illus. 3 tables.
- Weight199 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Edition StatementRevised edition
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