Friday, May 06, 2005

And so, in conclusion...

We're all hard-wired to relate to group norms. This is a value-neutral statement.

This behavior is useful, and since we're not going to change our neurology, the best thing to do is to become aware of the dynamic.

Much of the cultural tension in America today is the result of being stuck in the middle of a transition between norms. The new norm attempts to judge others by whether they are constructive or destructive, which implies individual value judgments. It's more complex. The old norm judged entire groups and behaviors.

Media can play a healthy role in this cultural discussion by identifying and exploring the proxy issues that represent all the sides in it.

I'll write another post on proxies later.