Cultural Theory and Grid/Group Analysis.
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“We are interested in how individuals confer meaning upon situations, events, objects, relationships--in short, their lives. How do people come to believe that physical nature is one way rather than another? How does one view of human nature come to seem more sensible than others? ... [We explore] the different perceptual screens through which people interpret or make sense of their world and the social relations that make particular visions of reality seem more or less plausible.”
The Military, The Corporate World, The Catholic Church, Sports Teams
The Elderly, Peasants, The Poor.
Wall Street Traders, Neoliberals, College Students
Communal Groups, Political Activists
The Holy Man(Egalitarian)
The world is bountiful but accountable within limits. The world is forgiving, but extreme events could disrupt it.
Nature is resilient
The world is terribly unforgiving, any jolt could destroy it
The world is wonderfully forgiving and little that humans do could affect it.
FatalistHuman nature is unpredictable; some people may be benevolent, but more are hostile
HierarchistsHuman beings are born sinful but can be redeemed by good institutions
Believes in the goodness of human nature, but recognized evil by attributing it to ignorance
IndividualistFor individualists human nature is stable; human beings regardless, are always the same, self-seeking
EgalitariansHuman beings are born good, but are corrupted by evil institutions
In terms of needs and resources, there are four possibilities:
FatalistManage neither needs nor resources. The strategy is to cope within an environment within which one has no control
HierarchistNeeds are fixed and resources manageable. If you can't adjust your needs, increase your resources. This requires resource mobilization.
HermitNeeds and resources are manageable
EgalitarianResources are fixed, and so you reduce your needs. Nature is so precarious that inequality in the distribution of resources will bring calamity
IndividualistManages needs and resources. Nature is a cornucopia and is manageable by skill.
These five strategies for making ends meet are the only ones that contain views of economizing congruent with the models of nature that serve to justify the corresponding ways of life.
Should egalitarians seek to expand resources they could not justify sharing out.
Should hierarchists attempt to decrease needs, they could not maintain the differentials required to support graded statuses. And so it goes.
Supporters of each way of life construct their ends to make their cultural biases meet up with their preferred pattern of social relations. Their strategies do what is important to them--uphold their way of life.
(Thompson, Michael, Richard Ellis, and Aaron Wildavsky, 1990. Culture Theory p.48).
Hierarchists Can't blame the system, that would be self-destructive. Instead, hierarchies are "blame-shedding machines. Investigations are quashed or forbidden; blame is shifted to deviants
HermitLay no blame since they are uninvolved in social struggles.
Individualists Blame bad luck or personal incompetence
EgalitariansThey reject authority; it is the system that is to blame
FatalistsDo not knowingly take risks. They would only get hurt and there is little prospect of reward
HierarchistsAccepts risk as long as decisions are made by experts
HermitEager acceptance of myopically perceived risk. They are attached to him and can’t be transferred
EgalitariansBy accentuating the risks of technological development and economic growth, egalitarians are able to shore up their way of life and discomfort rival ways. predictions of imminent catastrophic- helps convince themselves anew that it is safer inside than outside the egalitarian group.
IndividualistsRisk is opportunity. With no risk, there would be no opportunity of personal reward
Each way of life needs each of its rivals either to make up for its deficiencies or to exploit or define itself against. Were egalitarians to eliminate hierarchists and individualists, for instance, their lack of a target to be against would remove justification foor their strong group boundaries and thus undermine their way of life. Or, to take another example, were indiidalists ever to rid the world of hierarchy, there would be no extra-market authority to enforce the laws of contract, thus producing the breakdown of the individualists' way of life.
--Thompson et al 1990: 3-4)
Big man to Rubbish Man
Informal group of organization gets formal
Becoming the charismatic leader of a sect, the CEO in retirement becomes prominent in activitst groups
Typical rags to riches story
No-hoper who joins the military and “finds himself.”
Recruited by some tight group as someone they are seeking.
Fall from grace, debarred or defrocked
The civil servant who sets him/herself up as a consultant
Loyalist to heretic, the whistleblower
The person rudely expellled from the group who doesn’t land “on his feet.”.
“routinization of charisma, co-opted rebel
Someone expelled from the group who lands “on his feet.”