Saturday, April 17, 2021

Gelfand's "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers" (2018) will matter for the pandemic

 

Rules matter when you fly 

Just a quick preview of Michele Gelfand’s “Rule Makes, Rule Breakers: Tight and Loose Cultures and the Secret Signals that Direct our Lives”, 2018, Scribner, paperback.

Right at the beginning, she credits humans for developing social norms because they are so necessaru, relative to other animals.

And there are tight and loose cultures, often related to the degree of external threats the cultures have faced in recent years.

Singapore is one of the tightest. She gives the narrative of Michael Fay, who got a caning in 1994.

But it seems that there is a big difference between social norms about waiting in line, to privacy invasion norms about forbidding homosexual acts, to even educating people into how they must find (opposite sex) partners, as was common there in the 1980s.

The social norms of religious cultures like Islam are often very strict because of the troubled tribal history of the past.

Prospectively, the message in this book will certainly matter for the COVID pandemic.

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