The Cultural Creatives

Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, in their 2000 publication Cultural Creatives, estimated that 50 million adult Americans focus on values that actively support the goal of ensuring everyone can pursue enough money, meaning, and friends to thrive, including an aggressive approach toward mitigating the problems of climate change.

According to a Huffington Post article, “Cultural Creatives Are Changing the World ,” updated on Dec 6, 2017, it was estimated that Cultural Creatives could now make up over half of the American population. This number may seem high to many of us because one thing Cultural Creatives have in common is the feeling of being alone in our values. We are not yet connected in ways that give us the common experience of changing the world together to reflect these values.

The values of the Cultural Creatives could be the key to creating the transformation we desire, values such as seeing nature as sacred, viewing relationships as important, and focusing less on material success. They want self-actualization and don’t believe in financial materialism. They want to be conscious activists for a world that works for everyone.

On the other hand, Traditionalists, as Ray and Anderson label them, do not embrace change, hold conservative political and religious beliefs, and are generally fearful. This market is dying off. Modernists believe in financial materialism and are secular. Success is a high priority, but they are being recruited to join the Cultural Creatives as they mature and realize that material success is not as satisfying anymore.

If you are a baby boomer like me, almost everything you think is normal is already changing: from the houses we live in; to how we get energy, transport ourselves, grow and buy our food; the materials we use for clothing and household items; and on and on. What has been an almost hidden force of cultural values is beginning to show itself. A recent poll done by NPR/PBS NewsHour and Marist conducted July 15-17, 2019 reveals that the majority of Americans believe in the following ideas:

    • Free public college
    • $15 minimum wage
    • A “Green New Deal”
    • Millionaire tax
    • Pathway to citizenship
    • Regulate drug prices
    • Voluntary Medicare for all
    • Gun background checks

The underlying values that support these ideas include fairness, society-mindedness, global-mindedness, and the diffusion of power from the hands of the few. While Modernists continue to press for free-market, deregulation, freedom to use the environment as you wish, lower taxes, etc. and Traditionalists fight for border security, nationalism and a merging of state and religion, the cultural creatives are gaining in numbers that will eventually change politics, the economy, how people practice their faith, our community infrastructure, the treatment of the planet, animals and each other.

Image Credit: By Source, Fair use,

From the book: Enough Money, Meaning & Friends ~ By Scott C. Miller

To learn more about Scott Miller, please see his website here.