, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 411–415 | Cite as

Four cultures: the evolution of a parsimonious model

  • Mary Douglas


Cultural theory works with a parsimonious model of four cultural types, each emanating from a specific form of organisation. The four types are identified as attitudes and values that justify the organisation. The hierarchical type, with its ranked levels and symmetrical branchings, depends on the adoption of hierarchical values and the expression of matching judgements. Likewise for the enclavist culture, the individualist culture and that of the isolates. There is no assumption of fixity, on the contrary, the four types are represented in any community, and social life is in permanent tension and flux. This article gives a summary of the early history of the theory.

cultural bias cultural theory grid-group analysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Douglas
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonEngland, U.K

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