Abstract and Keywords
This introductory chapter sketches the contours of an emerging multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research program on the conceptual foundations, antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of gossip and reputation. It argues that this research agenda should be developed along three interrelated dimensions. First, gossip and reputation are multifaceted theoretical constructs that share at least six key characteristics. Both are relational and triadic, morally laden, multifunctional, and context-dependent social phenomena that have an evolutionary base and are subject to strategic behavior. Each of the chapters in this Handbook touches upon at least one of these facets. Second, in order to adequately capture this complexity, a multidisciplinary and eventually interdisciplinary approach is needed. Intradisciplinary progress is a precondition for high-quality multidisciplinary scholarship. Third, the frontier of much current research crystallizes around six substantive problem domains, capturing different levels of analysis and their interplay.
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