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
  • Sociology
  • 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… Expand

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 thisExpand
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 isExpand
The Faith of Sacrifice: Leadership Trade-Offs in an Afro-Brazilian Religion
TLDR
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. Expand
Costly signaling, ritual and cooperation: evidence from Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion
The apparent wastefulness of religious ritual represents a puzzle for rational choice theorists and evolutionary scholars. In recent years, it has been proposed that such rituals represent costlyExpand
IDEOLOGY, RELIGION, AND THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION: FIELD EXPERIMENTS ON ISRAELI KIBBUTZIM
Despite the putative importance of ideological commitments in the evolution of large-scale cooperation among unrelated individuals, evolutionary researchers have yet to examine empirically theExpand
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. AExpand
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 cooperationExpand
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.Expand
Liberal and Conservative Religion: Different Socio-ecological Strategies
In evolutionary theory, the existence of religion has been explained as an adaptive behavioral strategy. This theory can also be used to account for the differences between religious groups. UniqueExpand
The cultural evolution of prosocial religions
TLDR
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. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 47 REFERENCES
Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives
  • L. Iannaccone
  • Economics, Political Science
  • Journal of Political Economy
  • 1992
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 doesExpand
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, andExpand
Religion and Communal Life in an Evolutionary-Functional Perspective: The Orthodox Kibbutzim
My purpose in this study is to refine understanding of the functional role of conventional religion for the viability of communal life (Bainbridge 1985). I shall endeavor to do this by broadlyExpand
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 mainstreamExpand
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 thatExpand
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 outExpand
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. TheExpand
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 createExpand
Punishment allows the evolution of cooperation (or anything else) in sizable groups
Abstract Existing models suggest that reciprocity is unlikely to evolve in large groups as a result of natural selection. In these models, reciprocators punish noncooperation by with-holding futureExpand
Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions
The "Me" generation has justified itself by appealing to social scientists who see selfishness as the only rational basis for action. But what are we to make of selfless acts in business, personalExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...