Comparison of the Three Subcultures and National Total
This shows that there are far fewer Cultural Creatives at low income levels, and they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the broadest middle class income range of $25,000-$75,000.
Traditionals have far lower incomes than the other two subcultures.
Moderns are close to the national income distribution, except that they have fewer poor people, and more people in the top income ranges over $100,000.
Demographics of the Three Subcultures, 1995
Source: January 1995 Integral Culture Study
Sponsored by Fetzer Institute and Institute of Noetic Sciences
Important Interpretive Note on Demographics:
These summary measures on age, income, education and occupation are used only to show the central tendency of each aspect of socio-economic status. In reality, it is important to remember that there are quite a few people at every age, income, education and occupation level in each of the subcultures. All subcultures range from rich to poor, and in no way can they be explained by demographics or derived from some demographics, such as the idea of Generation X or Boomers. Generations seem to be unrelated to any measurable opinion polling result or any values measures–in other words, a waste of words. Values are independent of demographics.
Traditionals have relatively few middle class and very few rich, but do have some, as any casual look at the rich backers of social conservatives in Congress will show. They have far more elderly than the other two subcultures. This is practically the only significant demographic fact, apart from the greater proportion of women who are Cultural Creatives.
Cultural Creatives have relatively few poor, relatively few rich, but do have some, and many in all other categories. The Moderns have relatively fewer poor, and many in all other categories. Cultural Creatives have fewer age 18 to 24, when values are still forming, and fewer over 70, but they are similar to Moderns, and most Americans, within the age range of 25 to 69.
For predicting anyone’s lifestyles, purchasing habits, social concerns, spirituality, etc., all demographics are a poor predictor to actual behaviors, while values are excellent predictors. Demographics has a minor role in in deriving the subcultures, and is far less important (about 20% of the result) than values.
Over the years we have found that people frequently underestimate the amount of demographic heterogeneity of subcultures. For example, when people hear that the average income of Cultural Creatives is upper middle class, they assume that all Cultural Creatives are in the upper middle class. In fact, Cultural Creatives are very diverse in terms of age, income, education and occupation, and quite similar to Moderns. Subcultures are not "pure types" but rather aggregations of people with shared values and a fair amount of demographic diversity.
From Chapter 1
Differences in Values and Beliefs Among the Three Subcultures
Note: Values percents are from column percentage tables for each values scale. This shows percent who agree with the stated value. Omitted are percent neutral and percent disagreeing with stated value.
Values Where Heartlanders are Highest Percent
Values Where Modernists are Highest Percent
Values Where Cultural Creatives are Highest Percent
From Chapter 5, Turning Green
Consensus on the Ecology Movement Position
*Rest of U.S.
is Moderns plus Traditionals, so that the contrast with Cultural Creatives
It should be obvious that the CCs are far stronger on ecological sustainability
From Ch. 6. Consciousness Issues and the Core Group of Cultural Creatives
From Chapter 7 Great Current of Change
Cultural Creatives’ Values and Beliefs in Overlapping Movements
asterisks are from the January, 1995 Integral Culture Survey (N=1036).
From Ch. 7 Moral Publics of New Social Movements. For those with a suspicious gimlet eye, none of the measures of social movement interest are used to identify CCs.
Where the Key Data Came From: The Surveys Reported in The Cultural Creatives
The survey data reported in this book come from two kinds of "values and lifestyle" surveys, most of which used mail questionnaires. One kind of survey is American LIVES, Inc.’s thirteen years of consumer surveys for private companies or public opinion polls for nonprofit groups. These results are summarized in a general qualitative way in the lifestyle discussions of Part I. No statistics are given, because these tend to be small, highly tailored, proprietary surveys, of particular demographic groups (e.g., people with incomes over $25,000, only homeowners), particular regions (e.g., Southern California), particular behavioral groups (e.g., all people who bought a home in the last year, all people who gave money to an environmental cause in the last 2 years), or some combination of those (e.g., recent homebuyers in Southern California, or people over age 55 and with incomes over $25,000 in the larger Detroit region).
Over thirteen years, these surveys have covered every region of the U.S. except New England, and include such topics as: home and community preferences, home decorating and remodeling, food and beverages, automobiles, "green or natural" product use, consumer electronics, personal computers, shopping, financial services, adult education, alternative health care, media use (TV, books, magazines, internet), vacation travel, leisure and sports behavior, giving to good causes, environmental and urban growth attitudes, retirement and nursing home attitudes, relations among ethnic groups, health attitudes and behaviors. These surveys yielded a wealth of insights into all three subcultures.
The second kind of survey reported in this book are representative national surveys. All statistics reported in this book are from two such surveys: the January 1995 Integral Culture Survey, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and the January 1999 Sustainability Survey sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Both of these were demographically balanced representative national samples, using mail panels, i.e., people who had pre-agreed to answer several surveys over the course of a year. Both included American LIVES Inc.’s proprietary battery of values items that are used to identify the three subcultures.
The Integral Culture Survey was executed by National Family Opinion of Toledo, Ohio, using a mail questionnaire designed and analyzed by Paul H. Ray. It had a sample return of 61% and 1036 respondents. The Sustainability Survey was executed by Market Facts of Chicago, Illinois, using a mail questionnaire designed and analyzed by Paul H. Ray, and by Mark Epstein, Eric Zook, and Purnima Chawla of Porter Novelli, Inc. It had a sample return of 51% and 2181 respondents.
Identification of the Subcultures
The three subcultures are identified using a battery of 70 questions, and a statistical methodology proprietary to American LIVES, Inc. The questions are values statements designed to elicit what is most important in people’s lives, and answers are scaled as degrees of importance, or degrees of agreement or disagreement. People are classified into subcultures by combining those responses into 15 values measures, plus a measure of socio-economic status. The measures are further analyzed into orthogonal dimensions, using factor analysis and multidimensional scaling. A special version of K-means clustering derives the subcultures, which amounts to grouping people by the similarity of their values profiles. The accuracy of the subculture identification is then validated using statistical modelling.
Over thirteen years, this approach has yielded highly reliable subculture groupings, survey after survey, year after year. The results are very stable and slow changing.