A look at cultural differences
Jun 24th, 2018 by Ken Hagler

Honor, Dignity, Victim: A Tale of Three Moral Cultures. Honor cultures emerge when a centralized state authority is not present or not legitimate and when people are extremely materially vulnerable. Under these conditions, people will take offense very easily, grow quickly fearful, and engage in higher rates of defensive, pre-emptive aggression as well as vigilante justice in order to settle their disputes.


In a dignity culture, people in this more modern form of society may resort to legal authority when disputes and wrongdoings are sufficiently severe, but otherwise they will make efforts to privately resolve disputes in a non-violent manner. In such a society, all citizens are assumed to have a sense of dignity and self-restraint, and everyone is expected to, at least at first, give the benefit of the doubt to a disputant to see if a conflict can be resolved peacefully.


Victim cultures share in common with honor cultures the sensitivity to slights or insults, but whereas those in an honor culture might try to retaliate (physically or otherwise), people in a victim culture will instead appeal to a powerful, omnipresent state/legal authority. Classic examples are Mao’s China and Stalin’s Russia. In contrast to honor cultures that expect victims to be strong and stern enough to defend themselves, and dignity cultures that expect victims to be calm and charitable when in a dispute or disagreement, victim cultures emphasize how complainants are emotionally or physically fragile, vulnerable, and weak. [Skeptic]

A good explanation of the underlying cause of the current “culture war,” where most of the country is still a dignity culture but various high-profile areas (the media, academia) are a victim culture.

Cultural Differences
Dec 16th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I’ve noticed a few cultural difference between LA and Austin that weren’t really apparent before I moved. Some of the interesting ones:

  1. Dogs in Austin are mostly dog-size. The little hybrid rat/dog things that are ubiquitous in LA exist here, but are a small minority.
  2. White people work minimum wage jobs in Austin. I don’t recall ever seeing that in LA.
  3. In Austin a total stranger saying “hello” on the street is just being polite. In LA, he’s about to beg for change.
  4. Anorexia is rare in Austin, and common in LA.
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