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Is fatalism a cultural belief? An empirical analysis on the origin of fatalistic tendencies

Ruiu, Gabriele (2012): Is fatalism a cultural belief? An empirical analysis on the origin of fatalistic tendencies.

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Abstract

I maintain that fatalistic tendencies are the output of the interaction between cultural factors (and in particular of religious beliefs) and historical Institutional experience. Using WVS data this idea has been tested against two well known sociological theories on the origin of fatalism: Weberian cosmological fatalism and Durkheim’s structural fatalism. The data supports the Durkheimian idea that a more regulated society tends to be also more fatalistic. Also the direct effect of religion on fatalistic beliefs seem to be an important element determining fatalistic tendencies. However there are not large differences across the various faiths. In other terms, being religious independently from the religious affiliation implies a more fatalistic view of life.

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