Cultural Alexithymia in an Evolutionary Context

In the 1970’s Clare Graves (a developmental psychologist and researcher) proposed a theory, based on research, that societal values evolve in a fixed sequence over time; stage-to-stage or level-to-level.  His work was subsequently elaborated upon by Chris Cowan and Donald Beck in an more accessible format called “Spiral Dynamics“.  In this system individuals within a culture have the potential to move through each of the developmental levels of their culture, though some may not attain the leading-edge level, depending on their immediate environmental circumstances and responses to life challenges.  The Spiral Dynamic framework provides an informative context for understanding cultural alexithymia.  First a brief summary of a few stages from Spiral Dynamics(which uses colors to denote stages): In Traditional (Blue) societies (e.g., North America prior to the 1960’s) tend to be organized around historical mythologies (E.g., the paternalistic structure of Christianity) with a strong emphasis on roles (I.e., the husband [...]