Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mapping Cultural Values

The World Values Survey has released their Inglehart Values Map, which "visualizes the strong correlation of values in different cultures." The map shows that "countries are clustered in a remarkably predictable way." Really? What do you think:

It seems to me that this graphic is the result of a couple of ivory-tower profs who tried really hard to squeeze a bunch of unrelated data into an almost meaningful diagram. And I am very suspicious of their data collection methods. I mean, when they mention Traditional/ Secular-rational values, whose tradition are they using? I would say that Judeo-Christian values differ depending on whether you are looking at pre- or post-industrial society. And in both of those cases, the Judeo-Christian set's values are decidedly different from, say, those of a folkway oriented belief system such as Asatru (inspired by the pre-Christian culture in Northern Europe), the Lakota tradition (as just one example of Native American Spiruality), or Andean Shamanism (as an example of a pre-Columbian tradition in South America). Go through the whole thing here:

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