Quotable (#164)

A hole in ethnography:

Dares, in the sense of “I dare you,” are widespread in human culture, and children start daring each other in early childhood. It is not clear how universal the phenomenon is; “risk-taking” is on Donald Brown’s list of human universals, but not dares specifically. Cross-cultural work is lacking, though I have found descriptions of daring from Brazil, India, the Netherlands (in sign language), and Indonesia, as well as the United States and many parts of Europe. As far as I can tell, no one has written The Sociology of the Dare or even The Economics of the Dare, except in passing on some other topic. Empirical work is sparse, though luckily there is some detailed qualitative work from over a century ago. There is, as far as I know, no Journal of Dare Studies. …

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