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La Sardana segun David Laitin

"When the people perform the Sardana they put their little bundles of possessions in the center and dance around them. So, they developed an urban dance that enabled them to protect their property the whole time they were dancing. And they have to count a fairly large number of steps… I saw them counting their steps with their lips, though trying to hide it because you’re not supposed to show it.
Thousands of tourists have seen the Sardana, it happens all the time, and the dance itself is relatively boring. But to me it was inspirational, and I asked myself a very simple question. ‘Here I am in the most bourgeois city I’ve ever lived in, with a commercial bourgeoisie that goes way, way back, which developed an urban form of culture in which they can protect their property while dancing. And they count! It’s the fundamental commercial function to count.’ Then I asked, ‘why are people who are so rational and so calculating pushing a linguistic movement that would increase their communicative capabilities by zero? You would think the Catalans would be on this gigantic learn English campaign, which would be tremendously more useful for their commercial dealings. Why are they pushing this language, Catalan, which, if successfully promoted, will allow them to communicate with no more people than they presently communicate with, and which will have no communicative payoff whatsoever?’ And I just walked through the town for the next two or three days, sort of like a zombie, asking and re-asking that question to myself".

Watching the Sardana made it easier for Laitin to see that the tools of game theory, especially the concept of “coordination games,” offered a powerful and fruitful way to explain why people participate in language movements that do not serve their material interests.

Excerpt of chapter 1 of the book "Passion, Craft and Method in Comparative Politics"
edited by Richard Snyder and Gerardo Munck (Forthcoming in John Hopkins University Press).

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9 Respuestas a “La Sardana segun David Laitin”

  1. # Blogger Lluis

    muy bueno laia! tremendo!
    Vamos, que el tipo se va a barcelona de vacaciones y esta los tres dias "like a zombie" pensando en la racionalidad del movimiento linguistico...
    Seguro que con el rollo al final no visito ni la sagrada familia!  

  2. # Blogger Laia

    juas juas juas!!!  

  3. # Blogger Laia

    para mi, lo mas increible del relato es lo de: "to me it was inspirational". si lo supieran los de la colla sardanista,...  

  4. # Anonymous "Mr. President ...I can walk"

    Las sardanas son una "urban form of culture"? igualito que el "break dance"
    Ademas "sardana happens all the time"? seguro que el bueno de Laitin no fue a parar a Berga en lugar de Barcelona...  

  5. # Blogger Alex Guerrero

    Muy bueno y muy bonita historia. Sin embargo, no entiendo en qué sentido le ayudó a entender que un movimiento no materialista en una sociedad burguesa.  

  6. # Blogger Laia

    bueno, mas que nada la sardana era una expresion mas del materialismo y la racionalidad de la sociedad catalana.
    no creo que le ayudara a entender por que nacionalismo catalan, pero si a entender mejor la sociedad catalana.
    en fin, si el supiera que en nuestra generacion nadie baila sardanas!!  

  7. # Blogger Lluis

    y se bailar-las (aunque no contar los pasos...)  

  8. # Blogger Laia

    bueno, porque tu parte racionalista todavia no esta del todo desarrollada!;-)
    yo se bailar balls de gitanes, y son la bomba de divertidos.  

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