Cultural integration and its discontents

Published

Journal Article

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. © 2008 The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kuran, T; Sandholm, WH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 75 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 201 - 228

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-937X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0034-6527

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2007.00469.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus