Advertisement

GeoJournal

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

Four cultures: the evolution of a parsimonious model

  • Mary Douglas
Article

Abstract

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 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bloor D., 1982: Polyhedra and the abominations of Leviticus, cognitive styles in mathematics. In: Douglas, M. (ed.), Essays in the Sociology of Perception. Routledge, London, pp. 191-218.Google Scholar
  2. Dake K., 1991: Orienting dispositions in the perception of risk: an analysis of contemporary world views and cultural biases. J. Cross-Cultural Psychol., 22: 61-82.Google Scholar
  3. Dake K. & Thompson M., 1993: The Meanings of sustainable development: household strategies for managing needs and resources. In: Wright, S.D. et al. (eds), Human Ecology: Crossing Boundaries. The Society for Human Ecology, Fort Collins, CO, pp. 421-436.Google Scholar
  4. Dennett D.C., 1987: The intentional Stance. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  5. Douglas M., 1985: Risk Acceptability According to the Social Sciences. Russell Sage Foundation, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Douglas M., 1992: In defence of shopping. In: Eisendle, R.; Miklautz, E. (eds.), Produktkulturen und Bedeutungswendel des Konsums. Campus, Frankfurt, pp. 95-117. (also chapter in Thought styles, Critical essays on good taste. Sage, London 1996, pp. 77–105.Google Scholar
  7. Grendstad G. & Selle P. (eds.), 1996: Kultur som Levemåte. Samlaget, Oslo.Google Scholar
  8. Gross J. and Rayner S., 1985: Measuring culture: a paradigm for the analysis of social organisation. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Habermas J., 1987: Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns. Bd 2 (vierte Auflage). Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  10. Karmasin H. & Karmasin M., 1997: Cultural Theory. Ein neuer Ansatz für Kommunikation, Marketing und Management. Linde Verlag, Wien.Google Scholar
  11. Marris C., Langford I. & O'Riordan T., 1996: Integrating sociological and psychological approaches to public perceptions of environmental risks: Detailed results from a questionnaire survey, CSERGE Working Paper GEC 96-07, The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.Google Scholar
  12. Prêtre S., 1989: Nucléaire, symbolisme et société: contagion mentale ou conscience des risques. SFEN, Paris.Google Scholar
  13. Rayner S., 1982: The Perception of Time and Space in Egalitarian Sects: A Millenarian Cosmology. In: Douglas, M. (ed.), Essays in the Sociology of Perception. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, pp. 247-274.Google Scholar
  14. Rayner S., 1988: The rules that keep us equal. In: Flanagan J.G. & Rayner S. (eds), Rules, Decisions and Inequalities in Egalitarian Societies. Aldershot, Avebury, pp. 40-42.Google Scholar
  15. Rayner S., 1991: A Cultural Perspective on the structure and implementation of global environmental agreements. Eval. Rev. 15: 75-102.Google Scholar
  16. Schwarz M. & Thompson M., 1990: Divided We Stand: Redefining Politics, Technology and Social Choice. Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead.Google Scholar
  17. Thompson M., 1979: Rubbish Theory: The Creation and Destruction of Value. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  18. Thompson M., Ellis R. & Wildasvky A., 1990: Cultural Theory. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations