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Knowledge through the grapevine: Gossip as inquiry.

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much of this chapter will be devoted to supporting [the] claim that gossip is "so often true" / contrary to what people may say about gossip, there is in fact widespread agreement with [the] claim that those at the heart of the most powerful institutions, including the university, the corporate world, and the political arena, frequently rely upon gossip as a source of crucial information inaccessible by other means / my interest is not so much with gossip as imparting information, but as eliciting it, that is, conversations directed towards acquiring facts or information / use the term "investigative gossip" to make it clear that I am referring to gossip's role in eliciting information rather than imparting or applying information (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... Because attribution theory describes how individuals make sense of social experiences and the motives behind others' behaviors (Heider, 1958;Kelley & Michela, 1980), our theorizing examines unsolicited gossip where gossip recipients are likely to use an attributional process to seek causal explanations for why a gossip episode was initiated. Although gossip can be solicited by the recipient (Ayim, 1994), gossip recipients are less likely to question why the gossip episode occurred when it is a direct result of their own request. Thus, to understand the consequences of gossiping for gossip senders, we focus on unsolicited gossip where gossip senders play a more agentic role in the gossip episode. ...
... Once gossip is shared, it provides the gossip sender with an opportunity to gather valuable and sensitive information that is not available through other channels (Ayim, 1994;Paine, 1967). This typically occurs at the episodic level through the reciprocation of additional gossip from the gossip recipient as a response to the initial gossip (Brady et al., 2017;Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). ...
Article
Despite the ubiquity of gossip in the workplace, the management literature offers a limited understanding of its consequences for gossip senders. To understand whether gossiping is beneficial or detrimental for the gossip sender, it is necessary to consider the perspective of gossip recipients and their response to gossip. We develop a typology of gossip that characterizes archetypal patterns of interpreting gossip. We then draw from attribution theory to develop a multilevel process model of workplace gossip that focuses on how the gossip recipient's attributions of a gossip episode shape the gossip recipient's subsequent response and behaviors. In addition to the valence and work-relatedness dimensions of gossip that comprise the typology, we examine credibility and the status of the gossip target as fundamental features of the gossip episode that jointly affect the gossip recipient's attributions. At the episodic level, the process of deciphering the gossip sender's motives influences the subsequent reciprocation of gossip. Depending on the locus of causality attributed to the gossip episode, gossip also contributes to the perceived trustworthiness of the gossip sender and the gossip recipient's cooperation with or social undermining of the gossip sender over time. The proposed model suggests that the potential benefits or social consequences of gossip for the gossip sender depend on the characteristics of the gossip and the context of the gossip episode that serve as inputs to the gossip recipient's attributional process. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Rosnow (1977) claims that one of the three functions of gossip is information gathering, which helps individuals understand their environments. Gossip can convey information— especially sensitive information—that is unavailable through other channels (Ayim, 1994). Seen in this light, gossip functions as an aid to sensemaking in organizations. ...
... DeSousa (1994)notes that gossip is typically a subversive form of power—an attempt by those in weak positions to use the power of informal knowledge against those in formal positions. Other theorists point out that gossip can lead top management to fear losing control (Michelson & Mouly, 2004); those who are insecure in their positions of power are likely to view gossip as an undermining activity (Ayim, 1994). Thus, gossip is often viewed by managers as an antecedent to a " rite of degradation " (e.g., a demotion or a similar loss of power/status;Islam & Zyphur, 2009, p. 128) for them personally. ...
Article
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The authors use social network analysis to understand how employees’ propensity to engage in positive and negative gossip is driven by their underlying relationship ties.They find that expressive friendship ties between employees are positively related to engaging in both positive and negative gossip, whereas instrumental workflow ties, which are less trusting than friendship ties, are related solely with positive gossip. The authors also find that structural embeddedness in the friendship network further increases the chance that the pair will engage in negative gossip. Finally, an employee’s total gossiping activity (both positive and negative) is negatively related to supervisors’ evaluations of the employee’s performance, whereas total gossip activity is positively related to peers’ evaluations of the employee’s informal influence.
... Gossip is an informal form of personal communication built around those who are absent or are simply treated as such (Bock, 1982). Gossip usually takes the form of conversations between people who know and trust one another (Ayim, 1994;Spacks, 1985). Gossip ultimately creates a kind of authority, irregardless of its initial source. ...
Article
Over the last 30 years, the publicly visible “otherness” embodied by the Muslim population in the member states of the European Union has sparked movements of transnational public discussions mainly driven by the fear of the collapse of “national cohesion.” This paper engages theoretically with the idea that these debates have become an ordinary trap for European publics, France being the main illustration in the text. It is more specifically concerned with the discussions surrounding the recent ban on the wearing of the full veil in French public space, asking: what does the omnipresence of public discussions about religious otherness reveal of the national culture of citizenship? What are the epistemological and political implications of the evaluation of daily individual experiences as criminal in secular contexts? The text develops some speculative readings of the public experience arising from the visibility of Islamic religious signs and the capital attached to their visibility.
... To fear gossip in this way has some justification as it can damage organizations (see van Iterson & Clegg, 2008). However, this is not to suggest that managers only consider the negative consequences of gossip as gossip might also be employed by current organizational elites 6 Group & Organization Management XX (X) or those already in powerful positions (and not simply weaker organizational members; Ayim, 1994). There can be benefits of gossip from a management perspective. ...
Article
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This article examines the key themes surrounding gossip including its contexts, the various outcomes (positive and negative) of gossip, as well as a selection of challenges and controversies. The challenges that are highlighted revolve around definitional issues, methodological approaches, and ethical considerations. The authors’ analysis suggests that the characteristics and features of gossip lend itself to a process-oriented approach whereby the beginning and, particularly, end points of gossip are not always easily identified. Gossip about a subject or person can temporarily disappear only for it to resurface at some later stage. In addition, questions pertaining to the effects of gossip and ethical-based arguments depend on the nature of the relationships within the gossip triad (gossiper, listener/respondent, and target).
... Ample evidence exists that gossip can indeed be a positive force in the life of a group. Gossip can be a way of learning the unwritten rules of social groups and cultures by resolving ambiguity about group norms and an avenue for socializing newcomers into the ways of the group (Ayim, 1994;Baumeister, Zhang, & Vohs, 2004;Laing, 1993;Noon & Delbridge, 1993;Suls, 1977). Gossip is also an efficient way of reminding group members about the importance of the group's norms and values, and it can be an effective deterrent to deviance and a lowcost form of punishment useful for enforcing cooperation in groups (Barkow, 1992;Feinberg, Cheng, & Willer, 2012;Levin & Arluke, 1987;Merry, 1984). ...
Chapter
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Gossip is the weapon of choice in the indirect relationship aggression that occurs among women. However, gossip can also be a positive force in the life of groups, as it is a tool that bonds group members together while enforcing cooperation and conformity to group norms. In this chapter, I take the position that gossip is an evolutionary adaptation that enabled our prehistoric ancestors to be socially successful, and I will explore the complicated roles played by gossip in human social life. Special attention will be given to the affinity between women and gossip and its place in female competition. It will be argued that an interest in the affairs of same-sex others is especially strong among females, and that this is not always benign. I review the evidence that women are more likely than men to use gossip in an aggressive, competitive manner, with the goal being to exclude competitors from their social group and damage the competitor’s ability to maintain a reliable social network of her own. Understanding the dynamics of competitive gossip may also give us insight into related social phenomena such as how people use social media such as Facebook and why males and females often have such different entertainment tastes when it comes to movies and television.
... See, for instance, Extract 4, in which Vanesa asks Laura to confirm the authenticity of a rumour related to Cristina's personal life: In this extract the gossip about Cristina is stimulated by Vanesa's question about the authenticity of information circulating that she was thrown out of her house by her parents (lines 643-646). These kinds of questions, which ask for more details or more gossip about the 'victim', are included in the description of the structure of this genre by Eggins and Slade (1997) as the optional probe stage, and make salient gossip as a form of inquiry that is used to elicit information or knowledge (Ayim, 1994). Thus, Laura in turn provides the information elicited, explaining that Cristina's parents came to the hall of residence to take her clothes because they wanted her to leave and to go to another town (lines 647-652, 654, 656-658, 660). ...
Article
This article focuses on the analysis of gossip that is done in a playful key, including laughter as a salient feature, drawing on extracts taken from two naturally occurring conversations among Galician female undergraduate students. The analysis indicates that gossip emerges as a form of indirect mockery in the data, which are commonly based on dramatized reported speech of the 'victim', including parodic stylization devices that are orientated to elicit laughter by making fun or through ridicule. The evaluation component also reveals important differences in relation to serious gossip, as it is not necessarily negative and is not always explicitly established or developed. For this reason, this component can be ambiguous in some cases. From a functional perspective, the article emphasizes that sociability and entertainment are not the only functions that playful and humorous gossip can play; at a fundamental level, this discourse practice has other benefits for the participants: as a way of constructing group identity and getting group comfort for a feeling of envy; of increasing self-esteem from the problems of another party; and of degrading other people's success. The common element behind these underlying functions is a comparative competition of the gossipers with the person who is the subject of their talk. Thus, gossip as mockery is not free of maliciousness and competitiveness.
... This provides them with a greater understanding of social dangers, which, in turn, improves their ability to survive (De Backer 2005). Because of this, individuals in risky circumstances sometimes seek out or elicit gossip to acquire facts and information about these circumstances (Ayim 1994). ...
Article
This study explores the relationship between gossip, decision-making and deterrence among active drug dealers. Drawing from interviews with, and observations of, 33 active drug dealers, we find that gossip shapes the ways in which these offenders respond to threatened sanctions. Gossip about others getting busted, acting sketchy and avoiding detection serves as vicarious experience with punishment and punishment avoidance and influences the behaviour of dealers accordingly. Dealers’ reactions, however, are contingent on their relationship with the subjects and sources of gossip. This study demonstrates that, at least for drug dealers, the deterrence calculus involves more than an internal weighing of costs and benefits; it is an interactional social process that is responsive to the informal communication permeating their day-to-day lives.
... Although laypersons and academics (e.g., Ayim, 1994) occasionally may suggest that gossip encompasses informal communication about objects or events-not just people-our treatment focuses on talk about other persons. We delimit our definition in this manner for two reasons. ...
... Depuis (Bok, 1982 ;Spacks, 1985). Forme de communication personnelle informelle qui s'engage à propos de personnes absentes ou traitées comme telles (Bok, 1982), le commérage (ou gossip) se développe généralement sous la forme de conversations entre individus qui se connaissent et se font confiance (Spacks, 1985 ;Ayim, 1994), jusqu'à finir par faire autorité, indépendamment de la source émettrice initiale. « As the rumor process moves toward forming agendas of actions intended to protect a culture against a potential threat, it contributes to political decisions that, for better or worse, can lead to long-lasting social consequences. ...
Article
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Visibility, transparency and gossip: about some conditions enabling Islamophobia... and citizenship Starting with French laws of March 2004 and October 2010 which prohibit the wearing of certain garbs characterized as religious, this paper revisits two features of the implementation and stabilization of an islamophobic reading grid for the actions of some members of Muslim communities in France. The first one has to do with the non‑intelligibility of religion (as a social phenomenon); the second is an injunction for veiled Muslim women to be both visible and transparent. These two features serve as a basis for a preliminary analysis of the terms of political participation and the conditions for citizen involvement. What does it mean to be at once a “good” citizen and a pious person? Along other research on Islamophobia, this paper is meant to prompt a theoretical conversation on such terms and conditions regarding Muslims living in France in 2014.
... about their direct supervisors or colleagues within their work group boundaries, because gossipers most frequently interact with those work group members (Grosser et al., 2010). However, gossipers share their evaluative talks about diverse absent third parties (Ayim, 1994;Foster, 2004;Grosser et al., 2010). As such, gossip objects are not limited to group peers who are physically proximate and encompass other organisational members beyond formal work unit boundaries that are diverse in terms of both horizontal and vertical distances (Tassiello et al., 2018). ...
Article
Gossip is ubiquitous in organizational life but has been under-researched in the organizational literature. We extend justice research to identify antecedents of gossip at work and explore a moderator on the justice-gossip linkage. Our analysis of 329 nurses demonstrates that organization-directed (i.e., procedural and distributive) justice perceptions are related to gossip about the organization whereas supervisor-directed (i.e., interpersonal and informational) justice perceptions are related to gossip about the supervisor. Our work further indicates the moderating effects of perceived insider status on the positive linkages between supervisor-directed justice perceptions and positive gossip behavior about the supervisor. This research theoretically contributes to not only workplace gossip research but also organizational justice research.
... News and evaluations about "relatives, rivals, mates and potential mates, offspring, partners in social exchange, and the very high-ranking" would be particularly interesting because they would help gain an advantage in "controlling over resources, sexual activities, births and deaths, current alliances/friendships and political involvements, health, and reputation about reliability as a partner in social exchange" (Barkow, 1992, p. 628;Foster, 2004). In terms of a cultural learning perspective, the core point is that gossip is an extension of observational learning for discovering how to live in their cultural society, allowing one to learn from the triumphs and misadventures of people beyond one's immediate perceptual sphere, because learning by one's own direct experience is important, but it also can be painful and time-consuming (Ayim, 1994;Baumeister et al., 2004). Finally, from a perspective of social comparison, gossip is regarded as a social comparison process that validates one's opinions, abilities, and emotions (Brady et al., 2017;Festinger, 1954;Schachter, 1959;Wert & Salovey, 2004), linked to, for example, positive affect (Greenberg, Ashton-James, & Ashkanasy, 2007), self-improvement (Wood, Taylor, & Lichtman, 1985), self-enhancement (Wills, 1981), and coping with stress and negative events, which can contribute to building trust relationships and affiliating with others. ...
Article
Researchers have been interested in discussing negative workplace gossip and its consequences, but have paid little attention to positive workplace gossip and its positive aspects in the workplace. Based on the perspective of social network, this study explores the two-path mediating mechanisms between positive workplace gossip and the socialization outcomes of newcomers. The data was collected in a multi-time and multi-source manner. The results shown that information ties and friendship ties mediated the relationship between positive workplace gossip and the socialization outcomes of newcomers. Specifically, positive workplace gossip helped newcomers form instrumental and expressive social relationships, namely informational ties and friendship ties, which in turn contributed to socialization outcomes, namely, role clarity and social integration. The theoretical and management implications are discussed as well.
... Because gossip serves to convey information that is often unavailable through other 51 channels (Ayim, 1994), or through other people, it allows gossipers who are central in the network to signal that they have access to and control over information Recipients may infer that the gossiper is not only in possession of a special understanding of the organization's social norms and values (Baumeister, Zhang & Vohs, 2004) but that they have control over the spread of this information. Because information is a valued resource in organizations (Etzioni, 1961), the gossipers' information base may allow them to accrue reputations of expertise and competence (Dunbar, 1996). ...
Article
In this paper, I examine the consequences, both positive and negative, of initiating and participating in gossip in work-related contexts. While a commonly held perspective is that gossip is harmful in that it hurts relational interactions by encouraging coalition-building and engendering divisiveness, an alternative hypothesis is that gossip's emotional attributes, can also help to foster stronger relationships and help individuals navigate complex environments. Specifically, I explore the influence of gossip at multiple levels of analysis: individual, dyadic and group. In Study 1, a laboratory experiment that looks at the short-term benefits of engaging in gossip (versus two control conditions, self-disclosure and task discussion), I find that individuals who engage in gossip experience higher positive emotions, energy and motivation but lower levels of state self-esteem. These gossiping dyads also experience dyadic benefits of relationship closeness and cooperation. Study 2 explored both the reputational and team-level outcomes of gossip. This study showed that team members who engaged in gossip were seen as being less trustworthy. Furthermore, gossip centrality had an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship with perceptions of competence. Study 2 showed that gossip about team members negatively influenced team outcomes such as psychological safety, cooperation and viability and increased team-level perceptions of politics while gossip about individuals outside the team has a positive effect on these outcomes, enhancing levels of team cooperation and decreasing perceptions of politics at the team-level. More detailed mediation analyses showed that team process variables, psychological safety and perceptions of politics measured halfway through the course of the team, mediated the negative relationship between intra-team gossip density and team cooperation and team viability measured at the end of the team's lifecycle. In terms of the relationship between extra-team gossip density and team cooperation, it was mediated by decreased team perceptions of politics. This research contributes to the emerging field of inquiry on gossip by providing a comprehensive model of the consequences of gossip at three different levels of analysis as well as a strong empirical test of the effect of gossip on organizationally-relevant outcomes.
... In Bosson's studies, strangers found common ground in sharing negative attitudes but also in mutually knowing a third person. It may thus very well be, as others have suggested, that gossip does not really create social bonds as much as it reinforces social bonds (e.g., Ayim 1994;Bergmann 1993;Gelles 1989;Morreall 1994;Nevo and Nevo 1993;Smith, et al. 1999;Young 2001). Having a mutual acquaintance may be sufficient to start something, and adding a shared negative attitude towards this person can create social cohesion among strangers (Bosson et al. 2006;Weaver and Bosson 2011). ...
Article
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Previous research indicates gossip is a social bonding system that is use to establish shared acquaintances and/or attitudes, to punish group norm violators, or for coercion via invoking fear of gossipmongers. However, no empirical work explores directly the relationship between gossip about freeloaders leading to improved cooperation in recipients. Thus, we predicted that the sharing of negative gossip about the freeloading behavior of a third party will lead to higher levels of cooperation. Using levels of cooperation in a prisoner’s dilemma game as a proxy to measure social bonding, we compared cooperation levels of 60 female respondents who met with a confederate randomly assigned to one of three conditions. They either (1) did not talk or were exposed to (2) negative reputation gossip or (3) self-disclosed negative reputation information. Results show that, even after controlling for a list of potential confounding factors, cooperation levels are high in both the control and self-disclosure condition and are significantly lower in the gossip condition. We suggest that gossip may spark initial relations, yet is insufficient to ignite a social bond sustained by cooperative action among complete strangers.
... 13 Several essays in Goodman and Ben-Ze'ev (1994) stress that gossip is idle, hence purposeless, in its nature. Gossips are often not interested with the truth-value of their utterances: it is therefore easy to share something that, albeit armful, is just being produced and shared together in the gossiping interaction (Ayim 1994). Conversely, one might have second thoughts before spreading some information that is known to be a fact, and that it will necessarily harm somebody's reputation. ...
Article
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Cyber-bullying, and other issues related to violence being committed online in prosocial environments, are beginning to constitute an emergency worldwide. Institutions are particularly sensitive to the problem especially as far as teenagers are concerned inasmuch as, in cases of inter-teen episodes, the deterrent power of ordinary justice (i.e. threaten to sue) is not as effective as it is between adults. In order to develop the most suitable policies, institution should not be satisfied with statistics and sociological perspectives on the phenomenon, but rather seek a deep ethical understanding—also referring to the biological and evolutionary past of human beings. The aim of this paper is to show a way to fill this theoretical gap, offering some answers (and some questions too) that can illuminate future policy-oriented research and reflection. In order to do so, we will start by connecting our argument to evolutionary studies carried out in the past two decades, focusing on gossip as a tool for social assortment, thus endowed with a dual function: protect the group from free riders, intruders and bullies but also bully the deviant members. In the “Mediating gossip through social networks” section, we will see which aspects of gossip, vital for bullying, are co-opted by social network scenarios. A fundamental trait of human social life, that is the subdivision in smaller coalitions, or sub-groups, will be shown as missing in social networks (SN) dynamics—therefore constituting themselves as structurally violent. The “Why and how do social networks empower bullying?” section will deal with techno-ethical and epistemological concerns regarding how gossip, mediated by SN, manages to empower cyber-bullying. The “Self-gossip and self-mobbing in the light of the disruption of sub-moralities” section will characterize cyber-bullying as often sparked by self-gossip (soon degrading into self-mobbing) in a scenario where familiar sub-groups, which also mediate defense and mutual understanding, are disrupted. The “Discussion and conclusion” section will consist of a philosophical summary, divided in two parts: a pars destruens analyzing whether SN, in their actual configurations, are fit for being used by humans-like-us, and a pars construens examining the broad potential consequences of highly enforced regulation aimed at contrasting cyber-bullying.
... Clasa funcţiilor epistemice este alcătuită din acele funcţii ale bârfei care contribuie, într-un fel sau altul, la cunoaşterea şi înţelegerea mai acurată a realităţii sociale. Adâncind intuiţia exprimată de P.M. Spacks (1982, p. 33) în ideea că bârfa procedează printr-o "retorică a investigaţiei", M. Ayim (1994) a trasat o serie de legături de similaritate între metodologia bârfei şi modul de cunoaştere al ştiinţei. Reperul în filosofia cunoaşterii este luat în persoana lui C.S. Peirce cu teoria sa pragmatică a cunoaşterii prin investigare empirică. ...
... In fact, third parties can punish the gossiper for false information, either directly (withholding cooperation, for instance), or indirectly (reporting other about the malevolent behavior of the gossiper, thus negatively affecting his reputation). Ayim (1994) claims that gossip is empowering to its participants because it gives them access to knowledge, but for the same reason, it is also quite dangerous: ''the more vital the information exchanged through gossip, the more potentially damaging such gossip is both to those who are the S470 Cogn Process (2012) 13 (Suppl 2):S465-S475 ...
Article
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Spreading information about the members of one’s group is one of the most universal human behaviors. Thanks to gossip, individuals can acquire the information about their peers without sustaining the burden of costly interactions with cheaters, but they can also create and revise social bonds. Gossip has also several positive functions at the group level, promoting cohesion and norm compliance. However, gossip can be unreliable, and can be used to damage others’ reputation or to circulate false information, thus becoming detrimental to people involved and useless for the group. In this work, we propose a theoretical model in which reliability of gossip depends on the joint functioning of two distinct mechanisms. Thanks to the first, i.e., deterrence, individuals tend to avoid informational cheating because they fear punishment and the disruption of social bonds. On the other hand, transmission provides humans with the opportunity of reducing the consequences of cheating through a manipulation of the source of gossip.
... Ninety percent of the team is female, and the physiological responses studied in women show that they release oxytocin when they express emotions verbally, thus improving their mood (Fiske, Gilbert, & Gardner, 2010). Gossip usually occurs in a private, intimate environment with friends and acquaintances (Ayim, 1994;Bergmann, 1993). It has been suggested that gossip performs an important bonding function by dealing with issues of interest to an individual or small group (Altuntaş, Altun, & Akyil, 2014). ...
Article
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Pediatric hematology/oncology units (PHOUs) are highly paced, stressful environments and can be difficult areas to work. Thus, these units can present issues when it comes to both recruiting and retaining health care professionals (HCPs). There is scant research addressing how the environment of a PHOU contribute to a HCP’s desire to stay or leave this environment. To conduct this project, a critical ethnographic approach was used. The researcher conducted semistructured interviews (n = 29), which included nurses (n = 21), physicians (n = 4), and allied health care staff (n = 4). This sample represented approximately one third of staff in each category. Participants identified that their ability to develop long-term relationships with children and families as a significant source of satisfaction. Belonging to the oncology team was seen as extraordinarily important to all the participants. The majority of the participants also felt that working in this ever-evolving dynamic medical field afforded them with ongoing learning opportunities. The main frustration described by participants pertained to administrative involvement in the everyday workings of the PHOU, potentially leading to attrition. It is important to note that there was also diversity among and between the categories of HCPs when describing the work environment and the issues that most influence them. While similarities among participants were found between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, significant differences between them led us to believe it would be unreasonable to attempt to compare the three groups here. Thus, in this article the author focused primarily on nursing while noting related observations from physicians and allied health professions.
... Anthropologist Gary Fine writes that gossip is a 'form of discourse between persons discussing the behavior, character, situation, or attributes of absent others ' (1997, 422). In other words, gossip requires its subjects to be elsewhere (Ayim 1994) and typically takes place in tiny, intimate groups (Altman and Taylor 1973), thus serving to strengthen social bonds and affection between group members (Ben-Ze'ev 1994). Similarly, Carmen, Naila, and Abigail distinguish drama from gossip based on participation. ...
Article
Contemporary youth conflict often plays out through social media like Facebook and Twitter. ‘Drama’ is an emergent concept describing performative, interpersonal conflict that takes place in front of an active, engaged audience, often on social media. Using ethnographic data, this paper examines how American teenagers conceptualize the term drama; the relationship between drama and social media; and the implications drama has for understanding contemporary teenage conflict. The emic use of drama distances teens from practices conceptualized by adults as bullying or relational aggression, while acknowledging the role of the audience in social media interactions. Drama also serves to reinforce the conventional gendered norms of high school, perpetrating the systemic undervaluing of feminine subjects and re-inscribing heteronormativity. Understanding how drama operates helps illuminate how widespread use of social media among teenagers has altered dynamics of aggression and conflict.
... Following others, we define personal reputation as an individual's agreed-upon character that is shaped via discussion in a social network (e.g., Axelrod, 1984;Bromley, 1993;Craik, 2008;Emler, 1990;Frank, 1988;Rindova, Williamson, Petkova, & Sever, 2005;van Vugt, Roberts, & Hardy, 2007). This definition highlights that reputation is primarily about the esteem an individual enjoys in the judgments of others, which emerges in communication and that is shared and distributed across group members (e.g., Anderson & Shirako, 2008;Ayim, 1994;Emler, 1990Emler, , 1994aKenny, 1991;Malloy & Albright, 1990;Tennie, Frith, & Frith, 2010). ...
Article
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In this paper we examined the content, structure, and dynamics of reputation, a person’s agreed-upon character that is constructed within social groups. In Study 1, we examined longitudinally the content and structure of an individual’s reputation as distributed across a newly forming group. In Study 2, we examined how the dynamics of reputation shape gossip, a form of reputational discourse. In keeping with theoretical claims about the function of reputation, trustworthiness and status potential proved to be central to reputation content that is shared across a social network and emerged over the course of a year (Study 1). Gossip, a form of reputational discourse, was found to focus upon individuals who are untrustworthy and of questionable and undeserved status (Study 2). We discuss how the results from these studies shed light on how reputation is essential to cooperation and cohesion within groups.
... Because of this, and as one might expect, rumour and gossip are subject to some variation during their passage. However, previous research challenges the assumption that their informational content is highly unreliable; some propose that the core message or main theme essentially remains intact as information is being transmitted (Ayim, 1994;London and London, 1975;Mishra, 1990). ...
Article
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This paper examines an important, albeit neglected aspect of communication in the workplace, namely, rumour and gossip in organisations. Drawing on literature from multiple disciplines the paper provides an analysis of the role played by rumour and gossip within organisations, including, but not limited to, its meaning, hidden reasons and its management. The paper discusses both antecedent and outcome variables that are associated with organisational rumour and gossip. It is contended that the different types of rumour and gossip serve different purposes which, in turn, result in a range of outcomes. Moreover, and in spite of the tendency to ascribe rumour and gossip as morally reprehensible, not all of these outcomes are shown to be harmful within organisations. The authors use this finding to argue that scholars and managers alike should avoid making negative judgements about rumour and gossip in all such cases.
... about their direct supervisors or colleagues within their work group boundaries, because gossipers most frequently interact with those work group members (Grosser et al., 2010). However, gossipers share their evaluative talks about diverse absent third parties (Ayim, 1994;Foster, 2004;Grosser et al., 2010). As such, gossip objects are not limited to group peers who are physically proximate and encompass other organisational members beyond formal work unit boundaries that are diverse in terms of both horizontal and vertical distances (Tassiello et al., 2018). ...
Article
Gossip is a ubiquitous phenomenon found in organisational life but has been under-researched within organisational literature. Our study elaborates on the multidimensional nature of workplace gossip in terms of valence (i.e., positive and negative) and targets (i.e., supervisors and organisations). We derive perceived justice and insider status as an antecedent and boundary condition of workplace gossip from social exchange theory. Our analysis of data collected from 329 nurses largely supports our hypothesised relationships between organisation-initiated (i.e., procedural and distributive) justice and gossip about the organisation, as well as between supervisor-initiated (i.e., interpersonal and informational) justice and gossip about the supervisor. With the exception of distributive justice, our work indicates the moderating effects of perceived insider status on the positive linkages between justice perceptions and positive gossip behaviours. Our findings provide theoretical implications for the gossip patterns across gossip triggers and gossipers and offer practical guidelines for effectively managing workplace gossip.
... Business firms may consider gossiping as detrimental, with some even actively trying to "ban" it (O'Callaghan and Hartigan, 2015), and business coaches recommending to implement anti-gossip policies in the workplace. However, there is no explanation of the fact that the remedial norm against gossiping tends to be violated systematically (Ayim, 1994). This also means that gossip receivers massively breach eventual promises to the sender, and they will become senders themselves (for a discussion on the ethics of gossiping, see Westacott, 2011). ...
Article
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Most of the current literature on gossip describes gossipmongers as incessantly sharing evaluative and valuable information about an absent third party in teams, groups, communities, and organizations. However, potential gossipers can similarly decide not to share what they know, depending on the content, the context, or their relationship with the other actors in the gossip triad. We argue that understanding the reasons why people do not gossip may provide useful insights into individual motives, group dynamics, and collective behaviors. This theoretical contribution first critically surveys the existing gossip literature with the aim of highlighting the conditions under which people might refrain from sharing third party information. We then propose to apply Goal Framing theory as a way to bridge a theory of the micro-foundations of human behavior with an analytical model of the gossip triad that disentangles the various ways through which senders, receivers, and objects of gossip may be interrelated. From a goal framing perspective, most research on gossip illustrates the mechanisms in which the hedonic gratification derived from gossiping is reinforced by gain or normative goals. However, a normative or a gain goal frame can prevent the gossip monger from spreading the information, and we argue that depending on different configurations of frames and relations between actors the perceived costs of sending gossip may be far higher than much of the previous literature suggests.
... Females were found to be more likely than males to socially exclude others-a difference that is visible also in children from the age of six (Benenson, 2013). In fact, gossip has often been portrayed as an instrument of last resort for women, a form of inquiry that remains available when other opportunities are closed to them by circumstance or convention (Ayim, 1994;Collins;. Reviewing major findings in this field, Davis, Vaillancourt, Arnocky, and Doyel (this volume) show in their chapter "Women's Gossip as an Intrasexual Competition Strategy: An Evolutionary Approach to Gender and Discrimination" that women prefer to use gossip "as their weapon of choice to derogate same-sex rivals in order to damage their reputation and render them less desirable as mates to the opposite sex. ...
... This may be a reason why rulers throughout history have tried to prohibit gossip (Rysman, 1977; Schein, 1994). For example, slave owners are said to have prohibited slaves from talking in their native African languages (Ayim, 1994), and men have forbidden women from congregating with other women for fear of their talking to one another and then becoming too independent , even to the point of prohibiting women from leaving the house unattended (Oakley, 1972). The Taliban in Afghanistan are a recent example of rulers who imposed such sanctions. ...
Article
The central thesis of this article is that all gossip involves social comparison. Research on social comparison is applied toward understanding motivations for gossip. In addition, the authors address why gossip tends to be negative and make predictions about factors that trigger especially negative talk about others. Factors such as need for moral information, powerlessness, formation and maintenance of in-groups and out-groups, and situations that bring on perceptions of injustice or feelings of jealousy, envy, and resentment all contribute to malicious gossip. Finally, the morality of gossip is considered, especially as it relates to the misuse or overuse of social comparison. Gossip is purposeful and, perhaps, necessary for healthy social functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... There is in fact ample evidence that gossip can indeed be a positive force in the life of a group. Gossip can be a way of learning the unwritten rules of social groups and cultures by resolving ambiguity about group norms and an avenue for socializing newcomers into the ways of the group (Ayim, 1994;Baumeister, Zhang, & Vohs, 2004;Laing, 1993;Noon & Delbridge, 1993;Suls, 1977). Gossip is also an efficient way of reminding group mem bers about the importance of the group's norms and values, and it can be an effective de terrent to deviance and a low-cost form of punishment useful for enforcing cooperation in groups (Barkow, 1992;Feinberg, Cheng, & Willer, 2012;Levin & Arluke, 1987;Merry, 1984). ...
Chapter
Gossip is a more complicated and socially important phenomenon than most people think, and campaigns to stamp out gossip in workplaces and other social settings overlook the fact that gossip is part of human nature and an essential part of what makes social groups function as well as they do. This chapter takes the position that gossip is an evolutionary adaptation and that it is the primary tool for monitoring and managing the reputation of individuals in society. An interest in the affairs of other people is a necessary component of being a socially competent person, and the chapter explores the multi-dimensional nature of gossip-related social skills. It pays special attention to “gossip as a social skill,” rather than as a character flaw, and presents insights into related phenomena such as how people use social media such as Facebook.
... This function can be seen readily in corporations or other institutions in which the organization has its own cultural values, rules, and mores. Indeed, an analysis of gossip as a part of corporate culture (Ayim, 1994) showed that many people at the top rung of institutions rely on gossip to give them crucial information that is otherwise difficult to come by. Those who are left out of gossip circles have considerably less power and control and therefore often do not stay at the top for long. ...
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To complement views of gossip as essentially a means of gaining information about individuals, cementing social bonds, and engaging in indirect aggression, the authors propose that gossip serves to help people learn about how to live in their cultural society. Gossip anecdotes communicate rules in narrative form, such as by describing how someone else came to grief by violating social norms. Gossip is thus an extension of observational learning, allowing one to learn from the triumphs and misadventures of people beyond one's immediate perceptual sphere. This perspective helps to explain some empirical findings about gossip, such as that gossip is not always derogatory and that people sometimes gossip about strangers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... Le commérage est vu comme une forme de communication informelle, bavardage indiscret et souvent malveillant 5 à propos de quelqu'un ou quelque chose, qui s'articule entre les individus d'un même groupe qui se font confiance (Spacks, 1985 ;Ayim, 1994), et qui est une « activité inévitable de la vie » (Abraham, 1970 : 293 ;Fonseca, 2000 : 26). Si certains pourraient avoir tendance à reléguer cette interaction sociale qu'est le commérage au rang de « idle chatter » (bavardage inutile) (Gluckman, 1963et Paine, 1967, à propos du roman Emma de Jane Austen), Max Gluckman souligne bien au contraire : « [...] que le bavardage n'est pas oisif : il a des fonctions sociales et il a des règles qui sont rigidement contrôlées. ...
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Les Blaan de Malbulen, véritables nomades ayant fui leur région d’origine suite à des crimes qu’ils ont commis, vivent aujourd’hui de chasse et d’agriculture dans les montagnes de Little Baguio, à Mindanao (Philippines). Ce territoire accidenté est recouvert de forêt tropicale dense et foisonne de gibier. Depuis deux décennies il est également exploité pour de l’agriculture sur brûlis à flanc de montagne, faute d’étendues plates. L’espace des Blaan est peuplé par de nombreux esprits parmi lesquels figurent les mangfun (les possesseurs des lieux et des choses), les busaw (les maîtres des serpents et des maladies qui se nourrissent des humains), les siling (des mauvais esprits qui s’attaquent aux enfants) et d’autres. Plusieurs de ces esprits sèment la maladie et la mort, d’autres apportent de bonnes récoltes ou un succès à la chasse. La plupart d’entre eux sont imprévisibles ce qui conduit les Blaan à déployer de nombreuses stratégies pour les ruser. Ils font des damsu pour s’assurer de la coopération des bons esprits et des sumpà pour se protéger des plus dangereux. Ces rituels leur apportent une protection mais elle n’est jamais sans faille. En se concentrant sur l’expérience des gens ordinaires relatée dans des ateliers de transmission intergénérationnelle des savoirs conduits en 2015 et 2018, ainsi que par une ethnographie participante de dix mois de 2016 à 2019, cet article montre que la ruse demeure au cœur du geste rituel des Blaan.
... At the between-group level of selection, gossip would have evolved as a social-control mechanism that serves the interests of the group rather than the interests of individuals, and there is ample evidence that when it is controlled, gossip can be a positive force in the life of a group indeed. It can be used to resolve ambiguity about group norms (Noon & Delbridge, 1993;Suls, 1977) and to help socialize newcomers into the ways of the group (Ayim, 1994;Laing, 1993). Gossip is an efficient way of reminding group members about the importance of the group's norms and values, and it can be an effective deterrent to deviance and a tool for punishing those who transgress (Barkow, 1992;Levin & Arluke, 1987;Merry, 1984). ...
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Two experiments tested hypotheses about gossip derived from an evolutionary perspective. In the first experiment, 128 people ranging in age from 17 to 62 years ranked the interest value of 12 tabloid stories about celebrities differing in age and gender. In the second experiment, 83 college students ranked the interest value and likelihood of spreading gossip about male or female professors, relatives, friends, acquaintances, or strangers based on 12 different gossip scenarios. The results of these experiments confirmed a consistent pattern of interest in gossip marked by a preference for information about others of the same age and gender. Exploitable information in the form of damaging, negative news about nonallies and positive news about allies was especially prized and likely to be passed on. The findings confirm that gossip can serve as a strategy of status enhancement and function in the interests of individuals, and that it does not just function as a means of social control within groups.
... Therefore, our third aim is to investigate whether emotional social anecdotes are more communicable with a good friend than with a stranger. Unlike gossip, which is exchanged most often in an intimate, trusting, in-group situation (Ayim, 1994;Derlega & Chaikin, 1977;Foster, 2004;Gluckman, 1963;Rosnow, 2001), social anecdotes can be exchanged between acquaintances and strangers. ...
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There is evidence that we may be more likely to share stories about other people to the extent that they arouse emotion. If so, this emotional social talk may have important social consequences, providing the basis for many of our social beliefs and mobilising people to engage or disengage with the targets of the talk. Across three studies, we tested the situated communicability of emotional social information by examining if the ability of emotionality to increase communicability would depend on the emotion that was aroused and the identity of the audience. Study 1 showed that participants were more willing to share social anecdotes that aroused interest, surprise, disgust and happiness with an unspecified audience. Study 2 provided a behavioural replication of these findings. Study 3 showed that the communicability of emotional social talk did vary with audience identity (friend or stranger). Together, these findings suggest that emotional social events (particularly those that arouse disgust and happiness) are likely to become part of a society's social beliefs, with important consequences for the structure of social relationships. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
... Like that same tree, it threatens us with expulsion if we are caught. The more vital the information exchanged through gossip, the more potentially damaging such gossip is both to those who are the topic of the conversation and to those who do the conversing ([2]p. 99). ...
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In social groups, individuals usually exchange infor-mation about their peers' actions, behaviors and attitudes. This ex-change of information allows individuals to make more accurate and complete evaluations of other people; on the other hand, knowing facts about potential partners is pivotal to the establishment of new social links. In this work, a bottom-up approach will be applied to model the relationship between social networks and different kinds of social evaluations. Results coming from Agent-Based social simulations will be re-ported and discussed in order to shed light on the emergence of com-plex social phenomena from the interaction among single agents' mental states and behaviours, namely the micro-macro link. More specifically, different types of social evaluations may affect the emer-gence of innovation and the network configuration of artificial firms working into an industrial cluster. 1 Cognition and the micro-macro link Agents living in social systems are actually embedded in complex networks of relationships. Social groups can be described as net-works with different sizes and configurations in which agents can occupy more or less peripheral positions, depending on the strength and the number of their links. In social groups, individuals usually exchange information about other agents, their actions, behaviours and attitudes, even if they have never met each other before. This exchange of information is essential for two reasons. On one hand, gathering information allows to make more accurate and complete evaluations of other people; on the other hand, knowing facts about potential partners is pivotal to the establishment of new social links and permits to enlarge the social group through the inclusion of far and distant nodes. In a top-down perspective, social networks are described as com-plex systems of relationships among several nodes interconnected through diverse links in a variety of ways. This level of description applies to networks already given but does not allow to explain how networks emerge, evolve and change. If we want to understand how networks are created, an alternative approach is needed: following a bottom-up perspective, we claim that social networks are patterns of relationships among the goals of a given set of agents [8]. Hetero-geneous agents, endowed with different beliefs, goals and resources are dependent upon each other to accomplish their tasks and achieve their goals. Basically, this means that agent x depends upon agent y, or upon its resources, to achieve its goals. Moving from this simple relationship between two agents it is possible to describe different macro-phenomena, their emergence and evolution.
... Everyone knows from their gossiping communities that every group has some more or less recurring topics for gossip, which seem not to lose interest and relevance, and many events require updating and commenting as they evolve. In this sense, as contended by (Ayim, 1994), collaborative gossiping inquiries display a tenacity and a commitment that are hardly inferior to a scientific community: once a topic has been reputed interesting enough to deserve extended gossiping, the explanatory hypotheses tend to spell out a wide array of causes that contributed to generate a given situation — carelessly of the heterogeneity of the causal factors. It is in this sense that gossip can be seen as a fitting model of an ordinary activity often generating composite explanatory hypotheses. ...
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Gossip has been the object of a number of different studies in the past 50 years, rehabilitating it not only as something worth being studied, but also as a pivotal informational and social structure of human cognition: Dunbar (Rev Gen Psychol 8(2):100–110, 2004) interestingly linked the emergence of language to nothing less than its ability to afford gossip. Different facets of gossip were analyzed by anthropologists, linguists, psychologists and philosophers, but few attempts were made to frame gossip within an epistemological framework (for instance Ayim in (Good gossip, pp. 85–99, 1994)). Our intention in this paper is to provide a consistent epistemological (applied and social) account of gossip, understood as broadly evaluative talk between two or more people, comfortably acquainted between each other, about an absent third party they are both at least acquainted with. Hence, relying on the most recent multidisciplinary literature about the topic, the first part of this paper will concern the epistemic dynamics of gossip: whereas the sociobiological tradition individuates in gossip the clue for the (theoretically cumbersome) group mind and group-level adaptations Wilson et al. (The evolution of cognition, pp. 347–365, 2002), we will suggest the more parsimonious modeling of gossip as a soft-assembled epistemic synergy, understood as a function-dominant interaction able to project a higher organizational level—in our case, the group as group-of-gossips. We will argue that the aim of this synergy is indeed to update a Knowledge Base of social information between the group (as a projected whole) and its members. The second and third part will instead focus on the epistemological labeling of the inferences characterizing gossip: our contention is that the ever-present moral/evaluative dimension in gossip—be it tacit or explicit, concerning the objects or the partners of gossip—is best analyzed through the epistemological framework of abduction. Consequently, we will suggest that a significant role of gossip is to function as a group-based abductive appraisal of social matter, enacted at various levels.
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Gossip has been related to friendship as it can increase the bond between people and sense of belonging to a group. However, the role of gender in the relationship between gossip and friendship has not been examined in the literature. So, the present study examined gender differences in the relationship between friendship quality and gossip tendency with a sample of 167 female and 69 male Western Canadian undergraduate University students using the Friendship questionnaire and the Tendency to Gossip questionnaire. Given gender differences in friendship, with males being more agentic and females more communal, the relationship between gossip and friendship was predicted to be stronger in the males compared to the females. Friendship quality was positively correlated with gossip tendency in the males, but this effect was not present with the females. The information gossip scale was strongly associated with male friendship quality. This finding may be related to the greater emphasis on status with males, and that possession of knowledge and control of information is a method of attaining status. Physical appearance gossip was found to be more prevalent in females, but not related to friendship quality. This type of gossip may be a more of a competitive threat to the relationship in females. Achievement related gossip was also related to male friendship quality, which reflects the greater emphasis on individuation in male friendships.
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[argues] for a defense of gossip as free speech extended to the private sphere / it seems likely that a world in which all information were universally available would be preferable to a world where immense power resides in the control of secrets / it is enough to make of indiscretion a saintly if not a pragmatic virtue and enough to reject the reasons adduced to condemn gossip / the cultural values articulated by gossip are not necessarily those of the dominant culture / on the contrary, they are at least as likely to be those of a subculture of the oppressed or at least of the less powerful / in this way, then, gossip could serve to articulate an alternative moral psychology as much as it might consolidate the dominant one (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Extensive criminological research has investigated the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts to prevent offenders' reoffending and effect changes in criminal behavior patterns. However, no research has quantified the influence of gossip regarding law enforcement operations and its effect on repeat offending. Moreover, only scant research has studied these relationships in the cyber-environment. The current work addresses this gap by studying the effect of online messages sent to active hackers that describe law enforcement efforts against website defacement activity. In two field experiments, we randomly assigned self-identified hackers with active Facebook accounts into control and treatment groups. We then sent subjects in the treatment group a gossip message (via Facebook) alerting them to law enforcement efforts in cyberspace. Following the intervention, we compared the control and treatment groups in terms of changes in the proportion of reoffending, number of website defacements, and severity of website defacements. Findings reveal that when the gossip was sent to a hacker's private inbox, it prompted a reduction in the proportion of hackers who reoffend, the frequency at which they reoffend, and the severity of attacks they generate. However, posting similar gossip on the hacker's Facebook wall was ineffective in restricting malicious hacking activity. Theoretical implications and practical recommendations for law enforcement operations in cyberspace are discussed.
Article
In this paper we seek an inferential and cognitive model explaining some characteristics of abduction to composite hypotheses. In the first section, we introduce the matter of composite hypotheses, stressing how it is coherent with the intuitive and philosophical contention that a single event can be caused not only by several causes acting together, but also by several kinds of causation. In the second section, we argue that gossip could serve as an interesting model to study the generation of composite hypotheses at a larger scale: several characteristics of gossip (for instance its being diluted over time and its collaborative dimension) make it extremely prone to produce composite hypotheses considering different levels of causation. In the third and final section, we try to illustrate some specificities of abduction to composite hypotheses for individual agents basing on the analysis of collective agents.
Article
This article focuses on sequences of classroom talk, in which Swedish junior high-school pupils engage in reproaches of absent parties or, to use an established gloss, ‘gossiping’. This kind of talk makes up a significant part of the off-task talk that pupils engage in when working in small groups. In order to initiate and participate in gossip interaction, pupils need to master sophisticated social competencies. The study focuses on these competencies and on one major function that gossip can be seen to perform for the primary gossiper: gossip as remedial action.
Chapter
As presented in the introductory chapter of this part, cognitive niche construction is strictly connected with the need to lessen the unpredictability characterizing most human endeavors: as posited by niche construction theorists, this gives rise to a new kind of pressure resulting from the modified environment . If living in groups and increased sociality are, for instance, examples of cognitive niche construction aimed at improving fitness and welfare, they produce a new series of drawbacks liked to the unpredictability of human behavior. Hence, a new kind of niche construction must reduce this further unpredictability by making human behavior more predictable and controllable. It is interesting to connect recent studies concerning the coevolution of language and enculturation (Castro et al., Biol Philos 19:712–737 2004) with the emergence of assessors and curators overlooking the maintenance of a give niche, ecological at first, then more and more cognitive. It is in this perspective, I suggest, that it could be interesting to frame, and speculate on, the recent re-evaluation of gossip. Dunbar ’s famous hypothesis (Dunbar, Rev Gen Psychol 8(2):100–110 2004 ) that gossip developed as an evolutionary assorting device (creating bonds but boundaries as well) can be understood as the selection and formation of the fundamental ground for supporting a cognitive niche: language could in fact mediate, in an unprecedented way, the diffusion and elaboration of information about peers involved in the perpetration of the niche. Thus, language can effectively be considered as a super-niche (Clark, Theoria 54:255–268 2005), and as projecting a zero-level cognitive niche which scaffolds all subsequent niches, just because it is able to organize and maintain the human group s necessary for niche construction.
Chapter
As hinted in the previous chapter, gossip is empowered by a “pragmatic” notion of truth, according to which truth, at least in social matters, is the opinion held by the majority of authoritative sources. The power of gossip relies in the immediate pragmatic enactment of the predicated truth, as acknowledged by (Taylor, Good gossip pp. 34–46 1994). Magnani, in Understanding violence. Morality, religion, and violence intertwined: a philosophical stance (2011) opened a new perspective on the philosophical study of violence , showing how even the maintenance of cognitive niche s involves coalitions supporting axiological positions, likely to trigger violence , either structural or individualized. Even if topics such as mobbing and bullying deriving from gossip might seem void of philosophical relevance, cultural studies such as the Girardian tradition (Girard, The scapegoat [1982] 1986; Violence and the sacred [1972], 1977; Job: The victim of his people [1985] 1987) show how a mechanism called mimetic rivalry, rooted in envy and fear against differences, informs an historically ever-present motif: scapegoating, and other related methods for resolving conflicts and crises. In this chapter, I will take advantage of the emergence of a contemporary phenomenon, that is mobbing in Social Network ing websites, as a case illuminating two issues. First, the violent element embedded even in the most innocuous gossiping appraisal; second, the kinds of sidetracking that might happen when a long-established cognitive behavior—such as gossip—is so-to-say translated into a different cognitive niche , which seems to afford a new, potentiated version: should we say that we are facing the same behavior?
Article
This article is based on ongoing fieldwork conducted in France and Quebec with Muslim women who stopped wearing a headscarf. It offers a puzzle for reflection: what is achieved when a sign of religious affiliation disappears (in this instance, wearing a headscarf)? The first part of the article describes the general framework in which public conversations about the visible piety expressed by Muslim women has been discussed in public spaces. The second part looks at the double bind in which Muslim women have been placed by being asked, on the one hand, to be as discrete as possible when expressing their religiosity and, on the other, to behave in full transparency. How and under which conditions can these women ‘find a place’ in the public space (Joseph, 1995) of secular societies? To conclude, the article invites reflection on the role of secrecy, the impossibility as well as the necessity of the secret in society in order to be able to consider the proper room available for pious female citizens in democratic secular societies.
Article
In the United States of the late 19nineteenth -century, the home was increasingly discussed in terms of privacy and the domestic was viewed as a protected “‘feminine sphere.”’ Focusing on the work of an author almost synonymous with the literary depiction of homes, Edith Wharton, this articleessay questions domestic myths of the U.S. home. As a vehicle for its critique, it relies on a mode of communication that is firmly located in the domestic sphere and yet destabilizes its premises of privacy and sanctity: gossip. By analyzing the depiction of homes and the reliance on “‘idle talk”’ as both content and narrative technique in “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell,” The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and Summer, the articleessay shows how Wharton exposes the feminine sphere as a dangerous place. To this end, she combines elements of gothic Gothic fiction that subvert the domestic ideal with depictions of homes that are porous to gossip, which both uncovers abuses and invites them. Concentrating her attention on female protagonists (rather than enfranchised white men), Wharton paints a drastically different picture of the home and the possibility of shielding the private from economic or public concerns than evoked in contemporary legal and journalistic discourses.
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This research aims to investigate the mediator effect of Employee Withdrawal Behavior on the relations-hip between Organizational Incivil-ity and Citizenship Behavior , It was applied to a sample of (382) employees at Services Directorates in Damietta Governorate, the multiple regression used to test study hypotheses, Furthermore, the Baron and Ke-nny, (1986) approach Used to test the mediating role, the study results showed that there is a negative significant impact of the Employee Withdrawal Behavior on the relationship between Organizational Incivility and Citizenship Behavior.
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This essay builds on various critiques of the relationship between the voice and autonomous individual subjectivity, briefly tracking the specific history through which the voice transformed into an ideal object representing the liberal subject of post-Enlightenment thought. This paper asks: what are we to make of those enfleshed voices that do not conform to the ideal voice of the self-possessed liberal subject? What are we to make of those voices that refuse the imperative of improvement that underpins social and economic contractualism? How might we attend to the sonicity of those voices that refuse to individuate, possess, and accumulate? And what fugitive modes of speech might be transmitted by such un-formed and un-organized voices? Against the idealized voice of liberalism, and the gendered and racialized exclusions that this voice implies, I propose a mode of fugitive listening that allows us to open our ears to the noisy voices and modes of speech that sound outside the locus of politics proper. Indebted to the Black radical tradition, fugitive listening attends to sonic practices that refuse the given grounds of representation. I argue that fugitive listening is a practice that can be situated in what Stefano Harney and Fred Moten call ‘the undercommons’. The essay concludes by turning to gossip, figuring this noisy modality of speech as central to undercommon spaces shaped by Black performance.
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In this paper we present two compatible hypotheses to explain interest in celebrity gossip. The Learning Hypothesis explains interest in celebrity gossip as a by-product of an evolved mechanism useful for acquiring fitness-relevant survival information. The Parasocial Hypothesis sees celebrity gossip as a diversion of this mechanism, which leads individuals to misperceive celebrities as people who are part of their social network. Using two preliminary studies, we tested our predictions. In a survey with 838 respondents and in-depth interviews with 103 individuals, we investigated how interest in celebrity gossip was related to several dimensions of the participants’ social lives. In support of the Learning Hypothesis, age proved to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. In partial support of the Parasocial Hypothesis, media exposure, but not social isolation, was a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. The preliminary results support both theories, indicate that across our life span celebrities move from being teachers to being friends, and open up a list of future research opportunities.
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