Cultural Dynamics Of Narratives: Micro And Macro Implications Of Narrative Transmission

Grant number: DP0450518

Abstract

Stories circulated in everyday conversations may have global implications by exerting a subtle cultural influence on social actions. Stories about martyrdom and wartime heroics, for instance, describe what goals a protagonist pursues in what way in what context. We propose that in communicating such stories people affirm and re-affirm for each other what they should do under what circumstances. The exchange of these stories can result in the formation and transformation of a large-scale cultural grouping, which may have significant socio-political implications such as extremist terrorism and intercultural clashes. We test these propositions in experiments and computer simulations.