A Culture Q Sort

This is a CHALLENGE: state a different method than already posted to complete a “best” culture analysis.

From: Bass. 1984. Primary Sources of Meaning of a Secondary Symbol: The Case of the Constitution and Ms. Murphy. Political Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 687-705.

The Lasswellian perspective, “the law of primary effect,” is integral to the larger concept of political man (Bass 1984, 688). Bass affirms, “According to Lasswell, political man (P) = pjdjr, where private motives (p) are displaced (d) onto the secondary political world and rationalized (r) in terms of the public interest (Lasswell, 1960, pp. 75-76) (Bass, Ibid).

This approach is then applied to the Constitution. In a cultural analysis, using the Constitution as a symbol in the web of human interaction, change (e.g., displacement) in the status of the symbol (e.g. factor analysis, Q sort) does impact the primary world. Bass (1984) reasons:

 Depending, therefore, upon one’s life history and pattern of inter-personal relationships, the Constitution may be elaborated into an all-indulgent figure which provides and protects, or it may take the form of an extremely depriving figure which denies the person access to specific rewards, or any number of other possible combinations. The key point is that the personal and latent meaning of the symbol will have some relationship to a more familiar object in the person’s primary, interpersonal world (688).

Bass concludes, “the data strongly support the displacement hypothesis” (703).


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