Globalization is as old as human society

because we can't resist the 3Ts--trade, technology and travel.

The 3Ts mean that people can rub shoulders with different cultures. They see that there is more than one way to look at life. Even so, it has taken over 50 000 years for the 3Ts to gather enough momentum for the whole world to be going through similar experiences at the same time.

Human groups evolved to resist globalization. The ability to build an emotionally cohesive group was a survival technique to maintain stability where the going was tough. The price of long-term stability was stagnation within the safety-net of shared meaning and behaviour. The survival of cohesive civil societies still depends on this same application of the brain's operating system.

Cultural history provides the evidence that this social software works through our aesthetic responses to play, custom, ritual and the creative arts. It brings about a shared social imagining of the meaning of the life led by the group.

Study of core social software (symbolic material) shows that these are constantly in a very slow process of evolution and a sudden change may trigger default to the basic settings. This is the risk in ignoring the social software aspect of life in a rapidly changing psychological environment.

Our programming for shared meaning of life places understanding the social imagining at the heart of the process of managing globalization. As OECD economist, Cornelius Castoriadis, said: "society and psyche are inseparable and irreducible one to the other".

This site is the precursor to a book analyzing what we know and what more we need to know about the social imagining and group cohesion. It is based on more than 30 years of research and practice. Applications of the research will soon be able to be found on

© Virginia Kenny 2003.     Page last updated: Sep 24, 2001 3:43 pm