Norms overlap with another blind spot in the thinking of many activists – culture, both the arts (literature, music, cinema, theatre, painting) and more broadly, the ideas, customs, and behaviour of a particular people, which plays a vital role in shaping values and internal narratives. I am convinced that in the UK the writers JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien are among the most powerful influences on future generations of activists. Culture also binds society together; starting a conversation about the fates of football teams in the British premiership is a sure-fire bonding exercise in many parts of the world.
Cultural attitudes vary between and within countries. Research by social psychologist Geert Hofstede and others has used interviews and surveys about attitudes to compare culture across nations. They have identified six ‘dimensions’ that show variation between national cultures: the extent to which people accept inequality, the tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity, individualism v collectivism, the distribution of emotional roles between genders (interestingly, men’s roles appear to vary more than women’s), long-term v short-term orientation and indulgence v restraint. These dimensions have been been applied in……
The post Norms, Culture and Faith
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