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Groups. Recap: Market theories . Hold only under stringent conditions Games have clear, cardinal payoffs Payoffs are common knowledge Indefinite iterations of game with same players Even so, only in very small groups

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recap market theories
Recap: Market theories
  • Hold only under stringent conditions
    • Games have clear, cardinal payoffs
    • Payoffs are common knowledge
    • Indefinite iterations of game with same players
  • Even so, only in very small groups
    • In large groups, it is too difficult to know what players did (either C or D) in previous interactions
      • High monitoring costs
market theories cont d
Market theories, cont’d
  • Further, at least some of these theories suggest that market approaches are most likely to produce cooperation (instead of just coordination) when people are following rules (eg Schelling).
  • Where might these rules come from? Is government the only source?
  • In all societies people belong to a variety of groups
    • Families, churches, athletic clubs, firms, etc.
  • These groups are related to overall social order in complex ways.
  • Social groups can be very powerful
    • E.g. gender roles
  • Groups can teach people values
  • Groups can enforce norms
social order via values
Social order via values

Values are

  • General and relatively durable internal criteria for evaluation
    • General = they apply in many different situations
    • Relatively durable = they don’t change very often
    • Internal = they are inside our heads, and directly motivate action
      • Do not require external incentives
    • Evaluation = they tell us what is good and bad
  • People try to maximize their happiness
    • the “pleasure principle”
    • Infants want their mother’s breast, but it is not always available
      • This perception  distinction between self (ego) and the external world
      • The “reality principle” – you can’t always get satisfaction
freud cont d
Freud, cont’d
  • How the infant copes with the mother’s absence or disapproval
    • By taking the parent into the self (super-ego), and allowing that internal parent to monitor its behavior
  • Evidence for the super-ego
    • A sense of guilt
the fundamental aspect of civilization
The fundamental aspect of civilization
  • The replacement of the power of the individual with the power of the community
  • Individual liberty was no gift of civilization; it was greatest before civilization existed
    • The urge for freedom is directed against civilization
the parallel between individual and social development
The parallel between individual and social development
  • Just as the developing individual is led to renounce initial desires for sensual pleasures, so civilization depends on a renunciation of instinct
    • Namely, the individual desire to maximize personal freedom
human nature sexuality and aggressiveness
Human nature: sexuality and aggressiveness
  • Sexuality is a fundamental motivator of human behavior
      • (derived from the pleasure principle)
  • Sexuality threatens social order because
    • Unregulated sex
      • Leads to interpersonal conflict (over love objects) – hence social disorder
      • Drains energy from economic productivity
human nature must be contained to attain social order
Human nature must be contained to attain social order
  • Society employs a variety of methods to regulate sexuality and aggressiveness
    • The incest taboo – common to all societies
    • The sexual urges of children are discouraged, so that their adult lusts can be controlled later on
    • Many societies outlaw anything but heterosexual genital love
    • Religions implore people to love their neighbors, etc.
  • But these methods are largely unsuccessful
freud s solution
Freud’s solution
  • The super-ego
    • i.e. the conscience
  • Solution: strengthen the super-ego
freud the price of social order
Freud: the price of social order
  • The superego creates guilt; therefore we are less happy.
    • Trade-off between civilization and individual happiness
freud summary of causal relations and mechanisms
Freud: Summary of causal relations and mechanisms
  • Macro-level cause: dependence
  • Situational mechanisms: people desire love, want to avoid punishment, transfer of aggression to the super-ego
  • Individual internal state: super-ego
  • Behavioral mechanisms: guilt
  • Individual behavior: prosocial behavior
freud draw the theory
Freud: Draw the theory


Super-ego Prosocial


  • How do we know if the theory has merit?
    • Look at the empirical world
      • Freud’s argument suggests that children who receive unpredictable nurturing (for example, those in orphanages or with neglectful parents) will be poorly socialized, and in turn, behave in antisocial ways.
  • Wanted to understand suicide
  • Existing solutions are inadequate
    • Mental illness
    • Heredity
    • Environment (climate and temperature)
  • Durkheim turned to social factors
egoistic suicide
Egoistic suicide
  • Observation: Higher rates of suicide among
    • Protestants vs. Catholics
    • Single males vs. married males
    • Families with few children vs. families with many children


egoistic suicide24
Egoistic suicide
  • Individualism  suicide
    • Single people are more individualistic than people with spouses and children
    • Families act as
      • Support structures
      • Rationales for living when times get tough
  • Social integration  low suicide, conformity to norms, social order
mechanisms for egoistic suicide
Mechanisms for egoistic suicide
  • People want to be attached to something greater than themselves
    • They want a purpose
  • If the individual is sufficiently integrated, the social group provides that purpose.
altruistic suicide
Altruistic suicide
  • Results from too little individualism; too much social integration
  • Evidence
    • Tribal societies have high suicide
    • Armies have higher suicide than civilian populations
      • Within armies, officers are higher than enlisted men
altruistic suicide cont d
Altruistic suicide, cont’d
  • Too much social integration encourages people to sacrifice themselves for their groups/societies
    • Individual life loses value
effects of social integration on suicide
Effects of social integration on suicide
  • Egoistic and altruistic suicide at opposite poles of social integration dimension
    • Too little integration (= too much individualism) egoistic suicide
    • Too much integration (= too little individualism)  altruistic suicide
egoistic altruistic suicide summary of causal relations and mechanisms
Egoistic/Altruistic suicide: Summary of causal relations and mechanisms
  • Macro-level cause: group integration
  • Situational mechanisms:
    • Individuals need a sense of purpose that can only be provided by the group
    • Attachment to the group increases attachment to group values
  • Individual internal state: individualism
  • Behavioral mechanism: people behave in accordance with internalized values – if weak, one is vulnerable to discouragement; if strong, one has little sense of self-preservation
  • Individual behavior: suicide
  • Transformational mechanism: aggregation
  • Macro-level outcome: suicide rates
egoistic altruistic suicide draw the theory
Egoistic/Altruistic Suicide: Draw the theory

Suicide rates


Individualism/ purpose

Individual suicide

anomic suicide
Anomic suicide


  • Suicide higher in economic depressions
  • Suicide higher in economic booms
  • Suicide rates correlated with divorce rates
anomic suicide cont d
Anomic suicide, cont’d
  • Explanation
    • Crises inhibit social regulation
    • Lack of social regulation leads to individual anomie
      • Anomie = erosion of values
    • Anomie leads to suicide
situational mechanisms assumptions
Situational mechanisms/assumptions
  • Human needs/desires are unlimited. Individuals cannot create their own limits
  • Thus, the passions must be limited by some exterior, moral force
  • This force is society
    • Society is the only moral power superior to the individual, the authority of which he accepts
  • Without societal regulation, individual desires are infinite. Individuals are in a state of anomie.
situational mechanisms cont d
Situational mechanisms, cont’d
  • Society determines the rewards offered for every type of human activity
    • There is social consensus about the relative values of different occupations
      • Everyone realizes the limits of his ambitions and strives for nothing more
      • This limits the passions
behavioral mechanisms assumptions
Behavioral mechanisms/assumptions
  • People are content when they get the socially appropriate (‘just’) rewards
    • No one can be happy without limits
    • Anomie is an unhappy condition
  • Anomie  Suicide
  • In sum
    • Social crises erode consensus about appropriate expectations and rewards
    • Without regulation, desires are infinite. Infinite desires produce misery.
    • Misery  suicide
effects of regulation on suicide
Effects of Regulation on Suicide
  • Anomic and fatalistic suicide are at opposite poles of the regulation dimension.
    • Too little regulation  anomic suicide
    • Too much regulation  fatalistic suicide
anomic suicide summary of causal relations and mechanisms
Anomic Suicide: Summary of causal relations and mechanisms
  • Macro-level cause: social crisis/lack of regulation
  • Situational mechanism:
    • Individuals have limitless desires
    • Can only be limited by society
  • Individual internal state: Anomie
  • Behavioral mechanism: Anomie makes one miserable
  • Individual behavior: suicide
  • Transformational mechanism: aggregation
  • Macro-level outcome: suicide rates
anomic suicide draw the theory
Anomic Suicide: Draw the theory

Social crisis/lack of regulation

Suicide rates

Individual anomie

Individual suicide

suicide rates an indicator of social disorder
Suicide rates: an indicator of social disorder
  • Two causes of suicide
    • Social integration
      • Egoistic suicide
      • Altruistic suicide
    • Social regulation
      • Anomic suicide
      • Fatalistic suicide

A schematic view of Suicide

High incidence of suicide

Fatalistic suicide

Social regulation

Egoistic suicide


Social integration

Anomic suicide

High incidence of suicide

what can be done to increase social order
What can be done to increase social order?
  • Marx/Engels say
      • Private property  conflict; thus abolish private property
  • Freud responds
      • Aggressiveness was not created by property – it reigned without limit in primitive times
  • Durkheim says
      • Strengthen religion and common values (the conscience collective)
  • Freud: social regulation guilt
  • Durkheim: social regulation  contentment
  • What is the connection between groups and other institutions such as government?
    • Groups exist in societies with governments
    • Do groups complement government or undermine it?
tocqueville s democracy in america
Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
  • A French aristocrat visits the U. S. A. in the 1830’s
  • Compares American democracy to European aristocracy
  • Focuses on the role of voluntary associations
    • Freedom of association restricted in aristocracies; believed to cause social disorder
  • Social isolation  despotism
in democracies
In democracies
  • To obtain political support, each person must lend his neighbors his cooperation
  • People seek to attract the esteem and affection of those in the midst of whom they must live
  • Self-interested action declines
if equality individualism then how to produce social order
If equality  individualism, then how to produce social order?
  • When people are involved with trying to address local problems, they realize how interdependent they are.
role of associations in combating individualism
Role of associations in combating individualism
  • In aristocratic societies, individual nobles can accomplish great things because they can call on the aid of their dependents. In democratic societies, where all are roughly equal and weak, collective action is more problematic – and for that reason, more important. A principal basis for this collective action occurs in voluntary associations (321).
  • If government replaces voluntary associations, then people will need to turn to government more.
role of associations cont d
Role of associations, cont’d
  • When people are involved in voluntary associations, they learn to bend their will to the common good.
  • This suggests that freedom of association contributes to order, rather than threatens it.
tocqueville s conclusion
Tocqueville’s conclusion
  • Americans learn how to be good citizens through their experience in political associations.
    • Cf. Banfield on Montegrano
    • Cf. Putnam on social capital
tocqueville summary of causal relations and mechanisms
Tocqueville: Summary of causal relations and mechanisms
  • Macro-level cause: voluntary associations
  • Situational mechanism: learn to cooperate
  • Individual internal state: enjoy cooperating
  • Behavioral mechanism: act accordingly
  • Individual action: cooperative behavior
  • Transformational mechanism: aggregation
  • Macro-level outcome: social order
tocqueville draw the theory
Tocqueville: Draw the theory

Social order

Voluntary associations

Enjoy cooperating


  • How do we know if the theory has merit?
    • Look at the empirical world
      • E.g. Robert Putnam’s study of Italy (Making Democracy Work, 1994)
One way that groups affect individuals is by helping them internalize cooperative values.
  • Another way that groups facilitate cooperation is through norms.
  • Norms
    • Cultural phenomena that prescribe and proscribe behavior in specific circumstances
    • Thus: external criteria for evaluation
  • Unlike values, norms
    • Require sanctioning if they are to be effective
    • an external solution to the problem of social order
norms some examples
Norms: some examples
  • Books of etiquette tell us how to behave at
    • Weddings
    • Funerals
    • Baseball games
    • Birthdays
    • Classrooms
    • When we are visitors to other countries
violations have consequences
Violations have consequences
  • Coach George O’Leary
  • Historian Joseph Ellis
  • These people are very good at their jobs -- but they lied
    • Implication: there is a norm of truth-telling at American universities
    • Sanctions are strong
how norms order
How norms  order
  • To the degree that people comply with prosocial norms
    • Their behavior will be predictable
    • They will act cooperatively
hechter the theory of group solidarity
Hechter: The Theory of Group Solidarity
  • Addresses two questions
    • Under what conditions do groups form?
    • Under what conditions are existing groups more or less solidary (e.g. ordered)?
group formation
Group formation
  • People form groups only when there is a net benefit
  • The principal benefit of groups
    • The concentration – or pooling – of individually-held resources, such as
        • Security
        • Insurance from natural disaster and disease
        • Greater access to mates and information
    • Resource pooling  specialization  greater efficiency of production (Smith)
group formation cont d
Group formation (cont’d)
  • People form groups to attain these private (=excludable) goods
    • Either they cannot provide these goods at all via their own efforts
    • Or they cannot provide them efficiently (e.g. at reasonable cost)
  • Motive of group formation
    • Access to jointly-produced goods
group production
Group production
  • These joint goods must be produced
    • Members must comply with rules assuring production of joint goods
  • Compliance with these rules is costly
    • Members have an incentive to free ride
  • Compliance is the principal cost of group formation
insurance groups
Insurance groups
  • Group formation motivated by desire to insure against uncertainties of physical and economic security
    • Friendly societies and fraternal organizations
    • Mutual benefit associations
    • Rotating credit associations
group solidarity
Group solidarity
  • If members free ride, then few joint goods are produced
  • Rationale for group formation
    • to gain access to joint goods
  • If too few joint goods are produced
    • then group will dissolve
  • Groups have varying levels of solidarity
    • The greater the proportion of each member’s resources contributed to the group’s ends, the greater the solidarity
solidarity increases when
Solidarity increases when
  • Members are dependent on the group for access to the good
    • Dependence varies to the degree that
      • Members value the joint good
      • They cannot obtain it elsewhere
  • Members are subject to control
    • Monitored to detect if they contribute
    • Sanctioned
      • to punish them for not contributing, or rewarded for exceptional contribution
the theory of group solidarity
The theory of group solidarity


Efficiency of



Visibility of


Probability of



Efficiency of







Extent of




of members



how to overcome 2 nd order free rider problem
How to overcome 2nd order free rider problem?
  • Group survival requires compliance with rules
      • Don’t skip town with all the money
  • Compliance requires control apparatus
  • Control apparatus = a collective good
    • Why will it be produced?
      • People invest only if there is control
      • Members have an incentive to enforce the rules (this protects their private goods)
  • Conclusion: rational egoists establish control in small groups providing private goods
  • Solidarity is a positive function of
    • Members’ dependence on group
    • Group’s control (monitoring and sanctioning) capacity
theory of group solidarity
Theory of group solidarity
  • How do we know if the theory has merit?
    • Look at the empirical world
      • E.g. The Amish
        • Witness
      • E.g. Kibbutz versus Moshav (Schwartz 1954, Yale Law Journal)
theory of group solidarity73
Theory of group solidarity
  • Hechter argues that when people are visible to each other, norms are more likely to be enforced
  • But why do people want to enforce norms?
  • One possibility is that people want the resulting benefits
    • E.g. When others cheat, the individual loses. If the individual can punish cheating, so that cheating declines, the individual is better off
    • E.g. Smoking. When people realized that second-hand smoke caused health problems, they wanted smoking to be regulated
  • So, when behavior produces harms for others, those others have an interest in regulating it
  • In turn, they are more likely to punish it
coleman draw the theory
Coleman: Draw the theory

Externality Norms



Regulatory Punish

interest deviance

  • But presumably, any individual would prefer to let others make the effort to sanction rather than bear the costs themselves
    • Sanctioning can take time and energy. It can be embarrassing. It can result in retaliation.
  • So, why sanction?
  • People care about their relationships with others, and they care about how others treat them
  • So, when they make decisions about reacting to deviance, they consider how their actions will be viewed by others
    • They consider how others are likely to react
    • Such reactions are called ‘metanorms’
  • People are more likely to get support for sanctioning in tight-knit groups
    • That is, metanorms are stronger in tight-knit groups
  • Cohesive groups therefore have more norm enforcement than noncohesive groups
    • E.g. fraternities
horne draw the theory
Horne: Draw the theory

Group Norms


Interest in maintaining Individuals

relationships and evoking sanction &

positive responses support others’

sanctioning efforts

centola willer and macy
Centola, Willer, and Macy
  • This concern with social relations can lead people to punish behavior – even if the behavior produces no harm.
    • E.g. fashion, music
If groups control their members, then group solidarity will be high. But how is order within a group connected to order in the larger society – especially when the society is diverse?
hechter friedman and kanazawa attaining order in heterogeneous societies
Hechter, Friedman, and Kanazawa: Attaining order in heterogeneous societies
  • Chapter contrasts two explanations of social order
    • Order via coercion
      • Critique: need for legitimacy
    • Order via values and norms
      • Critique: if order is a product of common values and norms, how to explain order in societies with discrete subcultures, like the U.S.A?
  • The members of groups produce local order (e.g. solidarity) to satisfy their own private ends
  • Once produced, local order contributes to the production of social order
local order and social order
Local order and social order
  • States free-ride on the production of local order
    • Local order contributes to global order, regardless of the norms of local groups
  • A counterintuitive implication of this argument
    • The more deviant the normative content of the local order, the greater its relative contribution to social order
why deviant groups contribute more to social order
Why deviant groups contribute more to social order
  • All groups control members’ behavior (to variable degrees)
    • Members are consumed by the demands of the group, and although the group explicitly intends to provide an alternative to mainstream norms, the fact that their members are compelled to satisfy corporate obligations limits their ability to engage in other, potentially antisocial, activities
  • Members of deviant groups more likely to behave anti-socially than members of the Rotary Club
    • Hence: there is a bigger payoff for regulating the behavior of deviant than straight individuals
the exception counterproductive groups
The exception: counterproductive groups
  • Exception
    • This proposition is not true if this local order causes the state to expend its resources on control
    • This occurs with the prevalence of counterproductive groups, which
      • Require their members not to comply with at least some important social norms, e.g.
        • Street gangs
        • Separatist militias
        • Terrorist cells (Al Qaeda, etc.)
  • The more solidarity counterproductive groups have, the less the social order
hechter friedman kanazawa drawing the theory
Hechter, Friedman, & Kanazawa: Drawing the theory

Solidarity & productivity of groups

Social order

Costs for non-group members/ government

Sanctioning by the state

sanctioning varies among deviant groups
Sanctioning varies among deviant groups
  • Sanctioning reserved for counterproductive groups
  • Little sanctioning of deviant groups that are not counterproductive
  • Example
    • Hare Krishna and Rajneesh are both deviant groups
    • Hare Krishna not sanctioned by the state
    • Rajneesh sanctioned
  • Conclusion: deviance of the group doesn’t explain differential sanctioning
  • Because the state has limited control capacity, it can only enforce the legal code selectively
      • Differential treatment of the Saints vs. Roughnecks
      • Tolerance of the Guardian Angels
american inner city street gangs
American inner-city street gangs
  • The most successful urban gangs regulate their members' behavior by punishing those who engage in random violence that is unsanctioned by the leadership
  • Gangs who fail to keep their members from preying on the community are denied the community's safe haven and soon unravel (Jankowski)
state tolerance of vice
State tolerance of vice
  • The police are more likely to turn a blind eye to illegal activities of groups that contribute to global order (like gambling parlors in New York's Chinatown; prostitution everywhere) than those that threaten it (like crack-dealing gangs in Watts)
  • Order in heterogeneous societies enhanced by the existence of large numbers of relatively small solidary groups unable to command control over resources that threaten the unique position of the state
  • Social order is enhanced by the freedom of association, especially at the margins of society. The most efficacious way to produce global order is to strengthen the conditions for the production of local solidarity.