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Jane Austen, Game Theorist$
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Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162447

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162447.001.0001

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Flossie and the Fox

Flossie and the Fox

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter Four Flossie and the Fox
Source:
Jane Austen, Game Theorist
Author(s):

Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691162447.003.0004

This chapter examines the tale of Flossie and the Fox, in which the little girl Flossie Finley deters Fox's attack by telling the latter that she does not know that he is a fox. The story is an elegant analysis of power and resistance, which the chapter represents mathematically. Here Fox chooses whether to attack or not, and Flossie chooses whether to defend herself or not. The strategic thinking involved is that if Fox knows that Flossie can tell that he is a fox, then Flossie is at a disadvantage. The chapter also considers several messages one can take from this story. One might say that Fox's terrifying power is based not on physical attributes but on socialization, or that the powerful construct a world with specific roles, and the weak can beat the powerful by refusing to participate in these roles; power requires acknowledgment, and disappears without it.

Keywords:   power, Flossie and the Fox, Flossie Finley, Fox, resistance, strategic thinking, socialization

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