Mind & Society

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 193–207 | Cite as

The social transmission of choice: a simulation with applications to hegemonic discourse

  • Edmund Chattoe-Brown


From a sociological perspective, Rational Choice Theory neglects an important question: How do agents come to conceptualise choices as they do? In particular, agents not only communicate about their choices and resulting outcomes but also draw attention to options unconsidered by others. This paper presents an agent-based simulation in which different kinds of information about choices are transmitted. This approach also provides a concrete model for certain aspects of “hegemonic discourse”. In standard Rational Choice where options are common knowledge, all actors with the same preferences should make the same decisions. By contrast if information is transmitted socially, the concerns of a majority may reduce the ability of a minority to choose options appropriate to them even without any exercise of coercion or discrimination.


Rational choice Agent based models Hegemonic discourse 


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Rosselli 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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