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Rational Ritual

Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge

By Michael Suk-Young Chwe
12-minute read
Audio available
Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Rational Ritual (2001) offers a profound, game theory-based analysis of the role that rituals, ceremonies and media events play in society. Throughout the ages, these rites have been used to create “common knowledge” that allows people to solve problems such as which ruler to obey and which products to buy. Essential reading for budding Robespierres or Steve Jobses alike.

  • Amateur game theorists, social psychologists or sociologists
  • Anyone interested in the true societal function of rituals, ceremonies and other cultural practices

Michael Suk-Young Chwe is a professor of political science at University of California, Los Angeles, where he teaches game theory. He’s also the author of Jane Austen, Game Theorist.

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