Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their Rumspringa from their Walkabout.
Eagle-eyed values enthusiasts will have noticed that, last week, we put the wrong heat map into our Values Lab. Thanks to those who pointed this out, and apologies for the error.
So, below is the Values Lab from last week about talking to strangers, this time with the correct heat maps. We’ve taken the opportunity to put a little bit more in – on the values of those who enjoy being in a crowd – so you don’t feel short-changed!
We were intrigued by this recent article about the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ campaigns for children in the 1970s and 1980s. The article highlights changes in approaches to this issue, people being increasingly uncomfortable with the original message. Action Against Abduction are piloting a new campaign – Clever Never Goes – which seeks to be less socially exclusive and “aims to make children less afraid of the world, by giving them the confidence to make decisions.”
We thought this was a fascinating shift, and one which clearly demonstrates a change in the values of the population. The two heat maps below show the agreement with two statements: one stressing ‘reserved’ values and one stressing ‘universal’ ones. The first statement (“I usually talk easily to others only when I know them”) chimes with how Settlers see the world. The second (“I want justice for everybody, even people I don’t know”), is very much a Pioneer world view.
Meanwhile, it's worth noting how the proportion of people in each values group has changed over time. The percentage of Settlers has reduced dramatically since 1973, with the proportion of Pioneers doubling in the same period.
In this light, we can see where the shifting emphasis in messaging about abduction might have come from, with post-materialist notions of inclusivity and autonomy replacing the Settler focus on rules and protecting your tribe. By looking at small changes in emphasis like this we can see how values divides are played out on wider issues – and why there are often tensions around change.
Below, meanwhile, as an addendum to the analysis from last week, is a heatmap for the statement “I hate being part of a crowd. I don’t properly know many people in my neighbourhood, and I’m sure that only a few know me.”
This is subtly different from the two statements heat-mapped above. It shows the values of those who are comfortable in their own company – more than it shows what people think of strangers. Here, there is more overlap between Settlers and Prospectors than there is with the above two heat maps. Prospectors, by contrast, are by far the least likely to agree with the statement.
This is interesting, as we tend to assume Pioneers and Settlers are more collectivist – whereas this question implies that, at least when it comes to being ‘part of a crowd’, they’re not. But the issues raised are interesting, especially as our population ages, and the need to understand challenges like social isolation becomes more acute.
Also this week, we wanted to flag Maps and Postcodes,a fascinating BBC documentary about the social insight provided by postcodes. TCC’s partner Richard Webber is mentioned in the programme, alongside Professor Roger Borrows – who co-authored The Predictive Postcode with Richard, and who was interviewed in the show. Given the subtle, ultra-granular dimension that postcode analysis allows, Maps and Postcodes is well-worth a listen for those looking to understand the detail of how societies develop.