The paper takes an interdisciplinary look at gossip, analyzing it as a living phenomenon, embracing all of its aspects. The root of the word gossip is related, in almost all Indo-European languages, to the idea of weaving and webs or nets. Originally, the word did not seem to have the negative connotations it has now, and which it acquired thanks to the offices of religion, ethic and philosophy. When looked upon with a neutral eye, it will reveal itself as a treasury of human wisdom concerning communication, with insights long preceding those the Internet prompted in social psychology. The paper provides general rules for its dissemination based on the needs that gossip fulfils. These needs can be uncovered by examining the processes of the transformation of gossip.
Dawkins, R. (1976): The Selfish Gene. Oxford: University Press.
Barkow, J. H. (1992): Beneath new culture is old psychology: gossip and social stratification. In J. H. Barkow, L. Cosmides and J. Tooby (eds): The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 627-637.
The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture., () 627-637.
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