Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities

@article{Sosis2000ReligionAI,
  title={Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities},
  author={Richard Sosis},
  journal={Cross-Cultural Research},
  year={2000},
  volume={34},
  pages={70 - 87}
}
  • R. Sosis
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Economics
  • Cross-Cultural Research
Several authors have argued that religious beliefs are a way of communicating commitment and loyalty to other group members. The advantage of commitment signals is that they can promote intragroup cooperation by overcoming the free-rider problems that plague most cooperative pursuits. In this article, the author tests this idea using a database on 19th century utopian communes. The economic success and survival of utopian communes is dependent upon solving the collective-action problem of… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Cooperation and Commune Longevity: A Test of the Costly Signaling Theory of Religion

The costly signaling theory of religion posits that religious rituals and taboos can promote intragroup cooperation, which is argued to be the primary adaptive benefit of religion. To test this

Religious Ritual and Cooperation: Testing for a Relationship on Israeli Religious and Secular Kibbutzim1

Anthropologists have long noted that one of the primary functions of religion is to promote group solidarity, and most have recognized ritual as the mechanism through which this solidarity is

The Faith of Sacrifice: Leadership Trade-Offs in an Afro-Brazilian Religion

Results reveal that leaders display high levels of religious commitment and disproportionally provide cooperative services to group members, and initiates cooperate less than leaders but do not differ in levels of received cooperation or social cohesion measures.

The Faith of Sacrifice: Leadership Trade-Offs in an Afro-Brazilian Religion

Despite secular trends in some countries, prestige-based authority in the form of religious leadership remains hugely influential in the everyday lives of millions of people around the world. Here,

Religious consensus and secular dissent: two alternative paths to survival for utopian communes

In previous studies, the rare cases of long-term survival in property-sharing utopian communes have been attributed to a consensus of members on basic beliefs, particularly religious beliefs. A

Does it Pay to Pray? Evaluating the Economic Return to Religious Ritual

Time-consuming and costly religious rituals pose a puzzle for economists committed to the idea of rational economic behavior. We propose that religious rituals promote in-group trust and cooperation

Religious Devotion and Extrinsic Religiosity Affect In-group Altruism and Out-group Hostility Oppositely in Rural Jamaica

It has been suggested that intergroup conflict has played an important role in the evolution of human cooperation—aggression against out-groups and cooperation with in-groups may be linked in humans.

The cultural evolution of prosocial religions

It is explained how a package of culturally evolved religious beliefs and practices characterized by increasingly potent, moralizing, supernatural agents, credible displays of faith, and other psychologically active elements conducive to social solidarity promoted high fertility rates and large-scale cooperation with co-religionists, often contributing to success in intergroup competition and conflict.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 43 REFERENCES

Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives

This paper presents an economic analysis of religious behavior that accounts for the continuing success of groups with strange requirements and seemingly inefficient prohibitions. The analysis does

COMMITMENT AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION: A STUDY OF COMMITMENT MECHANISMS IN UTOPIAN COMMUNITIES *

This paper defines commitment and proposes three types, continuance, cohesion, and control commitment, which bind personality systems to areas of social systems, linking cognitive, cathectic, and

America's Communal Utopias

From the Shakers to the Branch Davidians, America's communal utopians have captured the popular imagination. Seventeen original essays here demonstrate the relevance of such groups to the mainstream

Two Hundred Years of American Communes

The United States is the only modern nation in which communes have continuously existed for the past two hundred years. This definitive history of communes in America examines the major factors that

THE LOGIC OF COLLECTIVE ACTION: PUBLIC GOODS AND THE THEORY OF GROUPS. By Mancur Olson, Jr. Rev. ed. New York: Schocken Books, 1971. 184 pp. $2.45

This book develops an original theory of group and organizational behavior that cuts across disciplinary lines and illustrates the theory with empirical and historical studies of particular

Why Strict Churches Are Strong

The strength of strict churches is neither a historical coicidence nor a statiscal artifact. Strictness makes organizations stronger an more attractive because it reduces free riding. It screens out

Communes, sociology, and society

Preface 1. Communes and sociology - alternative realities? 2. The nature, structure and problems of communes 3. Some communes 4. Self-seeking 5. Men, women and children 6. Solidarity, survival and

Judaism and Modernization on the Religious Kibbutz

Preface Introduction Part I. Prologue: 1. Conceptual and historical background Part II. The Parent Orthodox Modernizing Movements: 2. Torah-im-Derekh Eretz 3. Religious Zionism Part III. The

HOW DID MORALITY EVOLVE

Abstract. This paper presents and criticizes. Alexander's evolutionary theory of morality (1987). Earlier research, on which Alexander's theory is based, is also reviewed. The propensity to create