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134lecture24(mar07)bw - Social dilemmas Social dilemma...

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1 © 2005 David Schweingruber Social Dilemmas/ Bureaucracy March 7, 2005 http://www.iastate.edu/~soc.134 © 2005 David Schweingruber Social dilemmas Social dilemma: potential for a society’s long-term ruin because of individuals’ tendency to pursue their own short-term interests (p. 288) Tragedy of the commons: situation in which people acting individually and in their own self interest use up commonly available (but limited) resources, creating disaster for the entire community (p. 289) Free-rider problem: tendency for people to refrain from contributing to the common good when a resource is available without requiring any personal cost or contribution (p. 243) Once considered a major problem for social movements; some argued that social movements must provide “selective incentives” Critique People do not always pursue their own short-term interests Instead, people connect their identities to those of their families, networks, ethnic groups, religions, nations, etc.
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