Are we free?

“What matters to people is how they should live with other people. The great questions of social life are “Who am I?” (To what kind of a group do I belong?) and “What should I do?” (Are there many or few prescriptions I am expected to obey?).

Groups are strong or weak according to whether they have boundaries separating them from others. Decisions are taken either for the group as a whole (strong boundaries) or for individuals or families (weak boundaries). Prescriptions are few or many, indicating the individual internalizes a large or a small set of behavioral norms to which he or she is bound. ”

Aaron Wildavsky

……the variability of an individual’s involvement in social life can be adequately captured by two dimensions of sociality: group and grid. Group refers to the extent to which an individual is incorporated into bounded units. The greater the incorporation, the more individual choice is subject to group determination. Grid denotes the degree to which an individual’s life is circumscribed by externally imposed prescriptions. The more binding and extensive the scope of the prescriptions, the less of life that is open to individual negotiations.

……It is social relationships that are primary and dominant, and shape people’s preferences.

……People seek reinforcement in the media for their basic beliefs and values and, at the same time, wish to avoid cognitive dissonance – things are attack these beliefs and values.