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Rational RitualCulture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge$
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Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158280.001.0001

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(p.74) 3 Elaborations
Rational Ritual

Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by describing two competing kinds of explanations to the one offered in the preceding chapter. The first is the way in which rituals are thought to influence behavior through direct psychological stimulation. The second is based on how being physically together in a group of people affects individual emotions. It addresses the question of whether common knowledge is an impossible ideal. It then discusses how publicity—or more precisely, common knowledge generation—and content are never really separable, in contrast to the book's argument that both must be considered in understanding cultural practices such as rituals. The chapter goes on to explain how historical precedent can generate common knowledge and generating community through common knowledge.

Keywords:   common knowledge, rituals, psychological stimulation, individual emotions, physical togetherness, publicity

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