Thursday, July 20, 2017

Creating A Thriving Culture

In 1998, a huge study of current American culture showed that there was a new and growing segment of society that has been moving in a new direction since the 1960's. In the direction of increasing equality,  racial and spiritual diversity,  and more concern about our environment. The authors of this study, Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, labeled this new piece of the cultural pie Cultural Creatives(CC's) and published their findings and commentary in a 2000 book called, simply: "The Cultural Creatives."

These CC's have views that are in contrast to other parts of our culture that the authors called Moderns(the largest segment of the population who get the most attention in the media) and Traditionals (with more conservative, "fundamental" values). Since this blog is mostly about CC's, I won't go into a description of the other groups. Cultural Creatives are not some fringe of society. Ray and Anderson found CC's in all economic groups, all racial and age groups, and in countries around the world!

CC's want authenticity in their interactions, like a holistic/systems overview, are "foodies,"
use alternative health care and appreciate established neighborhoods "with a lot of trees and privacy."
There is a general view of "think globally, act locally" to make the world a better place.
Recently retired President Obama and  First Lady Michelle can be listed as maybe the most famous and influential Cultural Creatives. They worked hard to enhance the health and well being of Americans over their 8 years in the White House. Especially by supporting health, environmental, equality and family issues.

The proportion of Cultural Creatives in American society has grown rapidly since the 1970's. It is close to 30% of adults and still growing. The odd thing about this group is that it is largely unaware of itself!! Since there is only minor media attention payed to the activities and philosophies of this group, they think that they are alone or in a minority of their own culture. I believe this is changing with the wide use of the Internet, but it still is true in large part. So, if you see yourself as a Cultural Creative or would like to move in that direction, join in on some of the activities is your local area that seem to help move your community in the direction that I've described. Reach out to other CC's to make sure to make connections and get creative!