Today Kathy spoke to us about the phonomenon of the “Cultural Creatives.”  In 1996, Paul H. Ray was doing marketing related research.  He decided to look at cultural values as a way o f categorization and he identified 3 major cultural groups that make up our society.  He concluded that there were (1) Traditionalists, (2) Moderns, and (3) Cultural Creatives.

The Trandionalists are just who you would expect them to be.  They tend to view the world in terms of black and white/right and wrong.  They tend to hold a nostalgic view of the past, they would solve the worlds problems by looking at the ways the world’s problems have been addressed in the past… because that was the “right” way to solve problems.  As you would expect, they tend to resist changge and tend to be politically and morally “conservative.”  Fundmenalist religions draw from this group, although not all Traditionalists are members of fundamentalist religions.  The best guess is that this is roughly 1/3 of the population.

The Moderns tend to see the world’s problems as being solvable with new and improved ideas.  This group really began thriving in the Industrial Age.  New devices, new machinery, new medicines will solve the world’s problems.

The Cultural Creatives are people who enjoy technology and economic prosperity but not at the cost of the environment or community. They understand the world holistically and are deeply committed to non-ideological politics that emphasize practical solutions.  They tend to think of themselves as spiritual, but not religious in the sense that they buy into the dogma of the established religions.

Thus, they represent a departure from both the traditional value system of religious fundamentalists and the modernist worldview of much of the scientific and business community. Cultural Creatives are the emerging wisdom culture.  According to Ray, this is the biggest reallignment of human values since “The Enlightment” of the 1700’s when the modernist worldview began to emerge.

Things that Cultural Creatives value that sets them apart from other groups;

•Social Justice (Women’s & Civil Rights Movements)
•New Spiritualities
•Humanistic Psychology
•Organic FarmingHolistic Health Care

This newly recognized cultural group, however, remains largely unrecognized even though the group is already larger than “traditionalists” and more than half the size of “modernists.” They remain unnoticed for a variety of reasons;

1. They are so new as an historical phenomenon.
2. The political, religious, economic and media establishments, caught up in either traditionalist or modernist assumptions, do not recognize their existence.
3. Cultural Creatives are not aware of themselves as a group and so remain unorganized. But they exist, and they are growing in number if not yet in strength.

Because of this, the Cultural Creatives don’t even recognize themselves as a distinct cutural group from the Modernists and the Tradionalists.  The “Culture Wars” phenomenon persists, but it is framed as the Traditionalists v.s. everyone else.  As the Cultural Creatives grow in numbers, perhaps they will begin to recognize the differentiations between them and the Modernists.  Mr. Ray believes that the Cultural Creatives are about to bring the world into a new era:  An entirely new global civilization beyond nationalism evolving the world into a planetary level of integration.  They just don’t know it yet.

For more insight, Kathy recommended;