Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Mary Douglas’s grid/group analysis has been a very influential theory for many culture theorists in all fields of the social sciences. There are two good reasons for importance of this theory. It allows for an interaction between the individual and the culture, and it can explain cultural change. There has been some theorizing about the implications of these innovations; however, little empirical work has been done to test these implications. The reason for this, at least partly, is the lack of an indicator capable of easily measuring culture on a wide-scale basis. This paper attempts to solve this problem by using questions chosen from the World Values Survey as an indicator of grid and group. To test the validity of these indicators, a survey was administered to five groups on Illinois Wesleyan University’s campus, and these results were compared to results given by the Gross and Rayner method of measuring grid/group. If the World Values Survey indicators are valid, there should be a strong correlation between the grid and group scores for members of the same group. Additionally, there should be less than ten-percent variance between the World Values Survey indicators of grid and group and the pre-established indicators of grid and group. Finally, there should be little or no correlation between grid and group. Based on the data gathered, all these hypotheses seem to be valid, and therefore, the data suggests the indicators chosen from the World Values survey are a valid wide-scale indicator of an individual’s typology.