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Cultural Failures as Choices of Rational Individuals
I argue, in this paper, cultural failures can be analyzed as choices of rational individuals against the theories of primordialism and essentialism which tend to label acts of failure as irrational, even pathological. The application of public choice theory to culture helps us see failures as part of instrumental rational process in which individuals are concerned with maximizing their own interest and conflict forcing the sides to seek cooperation and compromise over new cultural norms. This application allows us to coin a new term which I call culture failure, to explain some behaviors of cultural actors based on public choice theory. Keeping this term in mind, I focus on behaviors and interactions of individuals, leaders, groups, and governments under the following titles: Cultural conflicts, the instrumentalization of culture through multiculturalism, and government intervention and free-riding.

Cultural failures, public choice theory, instrumental rationality, cultural behaviors, conflicts.

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