The Banquet of (Cultural) Commons | de Arriba | Visual Ethnography
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The Banquet of (Cultural) Commons

Raúl de Arriba, María Vidagañ


“…the absence of the motive of gain; the absence of the principle of laboring for remuneration; the absence of the principle of least effort. But how, then, is order in production and distribution ensured?” K. Polanyi (1944) tried to answer this question in The Great Transformation.
Cultural Commons are cultural resources shared by a community that, like other situations of collective action, also reproduce social dilemmas. In these cases, as indicated by Olson, rational, self-interested individuals could not act to achieve their common or group interests. In that sense, the tragedy of Cultural Commons would mean its disappearance due to free riding behavior. However, many cultural commons are maintained over time because reciprocity, reputation, and trust can overcome self-interested behavior. The inhabitants of Villastrada (Italy) have achieved it for decades. Every summer, they work voluntarily to organize the festivities of this small village.


cultural commons; social dilemmas; collective action; cooperation; social interaction

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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Edizioni Museo Pasqualino
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Salvo Leo

Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Palermo con numero di registrazione 1/2023