Cultural Theory in 2019

When Mary Douglas published her groundbreaking work, Natural Symbols in 1970, journals of anthropology, sociology and philosophy reviewed it. Although Douglas was an anthropologist, her work had implications well beyond that single discipline.

Chapter 4 of the book, ‘Grid and group’ summarised an approach to social analysis that has been greatly extended and widely adopted in a variety of disciplines in the nearly fifty years since publication. The implications of the work of Douglas and her collaborators are still being worked out.

2019 has been a strong year for publications exploring and making use of grid-group cultural theory, (or the cultural theory of risk, or cultural cognition). In the next few months I intend to use the Fourcultures website to point to some of the more interesting examples I have come across.

I did wonder if there is to be a symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Natural Symbols, but haven’t found any such information – so if anyone can let me know in the comments, I’d be grateful.

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