Thursday, September 25, 2014

Social Regulations from a Gravesean Perspective

I have recently written several posts on guilt and shame. I have also written several posts discussing Gravesean psychology (Spiral Dynamics). So it should not be surprising that I am now bringing the two together.

Tribal (Purple) -- Familial loyalty, taboos, and customs are what regulate our social lives. Of course, our social lives and family lives are pretty much one and the same at this level of psychosocial complexity.

Egocentric (Red) -- Avoiding shame, defending one's reputation, and the desire to be respected (which can lead to demands to be respected, even if you are unrespectable) are what regulate social lives. This is the shame culture at its peak. "Respect and reputation matter more than life itself" (Beck and Cowan, 215), as can be seen in the ancient Greek epics and tragedies.

Authoritative (Blue) -- Feelings of guilt and the fear of breaking rules regulate social and personal lives. When these people dominate, one gets a full-fledged guilt culture.

Strategic (Orange) -- Feelings of responsibility for one's own actions and embarrassment from failing to meet some status goal. This gives rise to the responsibility culture.

Relativistic (Green) -- Feelings of collective guilt regulate social lives, though lack of personal guilt or responsibility does not regulate personal lives. This is the relativistic culture (hippie culture).

Integrative (Yellow) -- Feelings of enlightened self-acceptance and desire to not harm others regulates personal and social lives. This is the principled culture.

Holistic (Turquoise) -- Big-picture contextualization regulates personal and social lives. One may not even desire to do something unethical, since the negative outcomes are abundantly clear.

This suggests there are far more than the shame and guilt culture. Taboos and customs give way to shame, which gives way to personal guilt, which gives way to responsibility, which gives way to collective guilt and relativism, which gives way to principles, which gives way to globalist contextualization.
Beck, Don and Christoper Cowan. (1996) Spiral Dynamics.

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