Autumnal equinox in two days! Truly, the autumn-type weather just showed up, here in the deep South, two days ago. It’s lovely, as I am sure many of you are feeling, wherever you are. I’m walking around the house today, barefoot in my patched jeans, in a forest green tank top.
I have been reading The Cultural Creatives, over breakfast these days and loving it. It validates a feeling or knowing that I have had for years but have never been able to put into words. It explains why I knew when I was about eleven that I would migrate to California, as soon as I could, away from my Midwest world.
“The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World is a nonfiction social sciences and sociology book by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson… The authors introduced the term “Cultural Creatives” to describe a large segment in Western society who since about 1985 have developed beyond the standard paradigm of modernists or progressives versus traditionalists or conservatives. Ray and Anderson claim to have found 50 million adult Americans (slightly over one quarter of the adult population) can now be identified as belonging to this group. ~ from wiki
What was enlightening for me is that they were able to describe the other approximately 73% of us, the Traditionals and the Moderns.
“The Traditionals are 25% of the adult U.S. population and declining. This culture broke off from mainstream American culture during the 1800s. They are characterized by rigid, dogmatic belief systems. Ray also calls them “Heartlanders,” as they embrace a nostalgic image of small towns and the old-fashioned American dream of how things ought to be. Their spirituality is maintained by staying “on the straight and narrow” – the approved path.
The Moderns are 48%, or nearly half, of the adult U.S. population. This culture has left the Traditional world-view behind, but has replaced it with a materialistic/hedonistic orientation, their highest priority being “what works for me.” Moderns are the ‘official’ culture of the U.S. today. They are concerned with personal success, status, and financial gain and value industry and urbanization. According to Ray, their spirituality is maintained by “keeping to the main story” – the established path.” ~ https://jaygary.com/the-new-america/
Here are some of the characteristics of a Cultural Creative:
love of nature and deep caring about its preservation, and its natural balance.
strong awareness of the planet-wide issues like climate change and poverty and a desire to see more action on them
being active themselves
willingness to pay higher taxes or spend more money for goods if that money went to improving the environment
emphasize the importance of developing and maintaining relationships
emphasize the importance of helping others and developing their unique gifts
volunteer with one or more good causes
intense interest in spiritual and psychological development (personal growth)
see spirituality as an important aspect of life, but worry about religious fundamentalism
desire equality for women and men in business, life and politics
concern and support of the well-being of all women and children
support spending more money on education, community development programs, and the support of a more ecologically sustainable future
unhappy with the left and right in politics
concerned with big business and the means they use to generate profits, including destroying the environment and exploiting poorer countries
unlikely to overspend or be heavily in debt
dislike the emphasis of modern cultures on “making it” and “success”, on consuming and making money
like people, places and things that are different or exotic
Recognize anyone, in your family or friends, or even tribe, after reading the descriptions?
You can see why we (Traditional, Modern, or Cultural Creative) might lock horns with each other, n’est pas? Does this not describe our issues in the political arena, a bit?
One of the things that the authors mentioned is that the cultural creatives, feel invisible. We are seemingly unaware that we are literally a quarter of the population because the media doesn’t focus on us, except as entertainment, perhaps, for the Sunday edition of the paper. But we are the authors of most of the entertainment that everyone watches seven days a week. Could this be a little ironic?
Thank you for reading and take care out there in our wild world.