Abstract: Cultural consonance is the degree to which individuals approximate, in their own beliefs and behaviors, the prototypes for belief and behavior encoded in cultural models. Low cultural consonance is associated with higher psychological distress. Cultural consonance also converges across some cultural domains. Cultural consonance in different domains may converge because of an individual’s access to socioeconomic resources, or cultural consonance in multiple cultural domains may occur because these domains are in turn meaningfully—or culturally—organized. These possibilities were investigated in two linked studies conducted in urban Brazil, using mixed methods. A cultural domain analysis indicated that several cultural domains are organized around a broader concept of “goals in life.” Cultural consonance in these cultural domains in turn forms a single factor of “cultural consonance in life goals,” which is associated with lower depressive symptoms. The implications of these results for the further study of cultural consonance, and for a better understanding of culture, are discussed.
Keywords: cultural consonance, culture theory, cultural consensus analysis, Brazil
Citation: Dressler, William W., Mauro C. Balieiro, and José Ernesto dos Santos. (2017) Cultural consonance in life goals and depressive symptoms in urban Brazil. Journal of Anthropological Research 73: 43-65.