"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Are you a Modern, a Traditional, or a Cultural Creative?

Are you a Modern, a Traditional, or a Cultural Creative? Or perhaps you are one of the 10% of the US who are In Transition to becoming a Cultural Creative?

These competing subcultures in American society are identified and described by sociologist Paul Ray from his considerable research into American values, worldviews and lifestyles. And Ray tells us that similar distinct subcultures are to be found within Western Europe and Japan.

I wrote 2 days ago of the characteristics of the Cultural Creatives. Today I’m focussing on the Moderns. Moderns, we are told by Ray, “tend to see the world through a filter of personal success and financial gain.” Oh yes I can certainly see that around me! They accept “things as they are,” Ray tells us, “in big cities, big organizations, the latest technologies, mass media, and a ‘modern’ life rewarded by material consumption.” And Ray tells us that despite what the media, governments and corporations would have us believe, he does not think there has ever been a time when Moderns have comprised more than half the American population. So the needs and desires of at least half the population are not being addressed by the state, by the media, by businesses.

But Ray thinks that since the 1960’s the Moderns started losing their children to the Cultural Creatives, and reduced to about 40% of the population, the culture breaking down in the face of being unable to solve the problems it created. But I am surprised by this analysis. I feel that I can recognise the Modern in many of the young adults of today I see in the UK. Too old to have been a part of the “green” revolution now well established in our education system, too young to share the worries of those of us of more mature years who have seen such extreme changes in our lives and are concerned by them. I’m still puzzling on this. Of course my sample is broadly limited to those young adults I see around me, contemporaries of my own children, through University and now successful young professionals in the big cities. Would this section of society be more likely to be Moderns than their non-university contemporaries? I need to dig deeper into this. All comments welcomed.

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