Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

5.2C: Cooperation

  • Page ID
    8028
  • [ "article:topic" ]

    Cooperation is the process of two or more people working or acting in concert.

     

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

     

    Compare the three types of cooperation (coerced, voluntary and unintentional) and why cooperation is necessary for social reality

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

     

    • Cooperation can be coerced, voluntary, or unintentional.
    • Communication is necessary for cooperation.
    • Cooperation derives from an overlap in desires and is more likely if there is a relationship between the parties.

     

    Key Terms

     

    • Unintentional Cooperation: It is a form of cooperation in which individuals do not necessarily intend to cooperate, but end up doing so because of aligning interests.
    • Voluntary Cooperation: It is cooperation to which all parties consent.
    • Coerced Cooperation: It is when cooperation between individuals is forced.

    Cooperation is the process of two or more people working or acting together. Cooperation enables social reality by laying the groundwork for social institutions, organizations, and the entire social system. Without cooperation, no institution beyond the individual would develop; any group behavior is an example of cooperation. Cooperation derives from an overlap in desires and is more likely if there is a relationship between the parties. This means that if two people know that they are going to encounter one another in the future or if they have memories of past cooperation, they are more likely to cooperate in the present.

    There are three main types of cooperation: coerced, voluntary, and unintentional. Coerced cooperation is when cooperation between individuals is forced. An example of coerced cooperation is the draft. Individuals are forced to enlist in the military and cooperate with one another and the government, regardless of whether they wish to. Voluntary cooperation is cooperation to which all parties consent. An example of voluntary cooperation would be individuals opting to complete a group project for school when given the option of a group project or an individual project. Unintentional cooperation is a form of cooperation in which individuals do not necessarily intend to cooperate but end up doing so because of aligning interests. The free hand of a capitalist economy is an example of unintentional cooperation, where individuals will take actions based on their own interests resulting sometimes in unintentional cooperation.

    Communication plays an essential role in cooperation. Communication enables simple acts of cooperation by facilitating parties’ recognition that they have mutual interests and large acts of cooperation by organizing the masses. Without communication, individuals would not be able to organize themselves to cooperate.

    image

     

    Cooperation in Politics: Without cooperation, Congress would be unable to create any laws.