Olli 1995: Cultural Theory Specified

My masters thesis:

Olli, Eero: Cultural Theory Specified - The Coherent, Sequential, and Synthetic Individual Approaches. 1995 Unpublished Masters thesis, University of Bergen, Bergen, 236 pages.

Within cultural theory there exists an internal debate about the relationship between the individual and culture. I take my starting point in this unclear relation between the individual and culture, and present three interpretations of cultural theory: The Coherent Individual, The Sequential Individual and The Synthetic Individual Approaches. These three interpretations differ in the way individuals' cultural biases are affected by context, and in the way rejection of a cultural bias is treated. In the second chapter I present my research design and the survey I use as data material, develop an apparatus of measurement for cultural biases and examine their reliability and validity. In each of the three following chapters, I run an analysis of individuals' party preferences based on the different specifications (i.e., Coherent, Sequential, and Synthetic) of the relation between individual and culture. Theoretical assumptions and expectations constrain the analyses in different ways; therefore, none of the analyses alone can answer all of the questions, and, further, each specification must be evaluated on its own premises. To examine each of these specifications, it is necessary to use statistical analyses that resemble the structure of the current specification in order to see if the preferences could have been created by the mechanisms described by this version of the theory. The final chapter is a systematic comparison of the three analyses. The empirical results indicate that individuals often support more than just one cultural bias, and that rejection of a cultural bias has an effect on individuals' party preference. Cultural theory, interpreted as the Synthetic Individual Approach, proved to be a powerfull tool for prediction of party preferences.

The layout is ugly, and done when I did not know better. However, I have chosen to keep it as close to the original as possible, to ensure that the page numbers do not differ between the PDF and the approved masters thesis.

Actually this is not a masters thesis, as it is a hovedfagsoppgave which is more independent and larger piece of research than is expected at the masters level.

Contact                   Last update: 05.01.2000