Golden Rules A taxonomy of obedience.

Golden Rules A taxonomy of obedience.

Issue 39


Arts & Culture

  • Words Bella Gladman
  • Photograph Cecilie Jegsen

Rules that seem ridiculous to you may make perfect sense to the person that made them. And if people don’t follow the rules set out—in a relationship, at work or during a global pandemic—well, frustration is understandable. Whether you’re tightly laced or laissez-faire, the path to harmony is understanding what rules and rule-breaking are really about, and why. Cross-cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand’s book Rule Makers, Rule Breakers covers just that, describing “tightness” and “looseness” as an approach to rules and a way to view the world. She believes that both flagrant rule-flouting and draconian diktats can be understood and overcome with empathy and negotiation.

What’s the basic idea behind “tight” and “loose” cultures?
As humans, we judge others b...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)