Thursday, August 18, 2016

Which Entangle You - People, or Things?

I am studying cultural differences among different fractions of the middle class.  This is a class that has some choice about how it interacts with the world, and what kind of things it buys to live with.

I think one subculture regards other people, especially acquaintances and strangers who live nearby, as potential sources of unwanted entanglement.  They prefer if people keep to themselves.  The places we live and the things we own, by contrast, are valued because they enable us to do what we want.

Another subculture, though, sees other people, including acquaintances and neighbors, as the greatest source of interest and action in life.  The things we must own, by contrast, are a constant source of upkeep and a necessary burden.

I would welcome thoughts on this contrast, and what else it might map on to in social life.