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Cultural integration and its discontents

Listed author(s):
  • Kuran,T.
  • Sandholm,W.H.

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute)

A community's culture is defined by the preferences and equilibrium behaviours of its members. Contacts among communities alter individual cultures through two interrelated mechanisms: behavioural adaptations driven by pay-offs to coordination, and preference changes shaped by socialization and self-persuasion. This paper explores the workings of these mechanisms through a model of cultural integration in which preferences and behaviours vary continuously. It identifies a broad set of conditions under which cross-cultural contacts promote cultural hybridization. The analysis suggests that policies to support social integration serve to homogenize preferences across communities, thereby undermining a key objective of multiculturalism. Yielding fresh insights into strategies pursued to influence cultural trends, it also shows that communities benefit from having other communities adjust their behaviours. Copyright 2008, Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~whs/research/ci.pdf
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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 20.

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Date of creation: 2002
Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:200220
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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