Positional Competition and Knowledge Failure
DOI link for Positional Competition and Knowledge Failure
Positional Competition and Knowledge Failure book
The idea of adequate, and therefore inadequate, knowledge adds a controversial new element to the analysis. Classical rational-choice-based approaches to political economy assume that adults have the necessary information on which to evaluate the outcomes of alternative choices. Such knowledge need not be complete, merely adequate to measure the costs of getting 'better' information against the possible benefits such information can be expected to generate. But even this assumption is unrealistic. Socializing children is not simply providing them with information enabling them to act rationally on their preferences; it is teaching them which preferences are better, and how to judge among them. Children need adults for this purpose. Adulthood does not mean that such a need is gone, rather that individuals are in a position to be selective in the sources of reinforcement. It displaces the parental role upon family, church, community opinion, etc., supported by social bonds and networks of communications, whose role, simply put, is to teach the rules of social relationships, such as obeying implicit contracts,
being punctual, knowing when playfulness is appropriate and when it is not, etc. (Marquand, 1988).