Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Miss LGG’s Book of the Week: The Culture Code
July 12, 2008, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Books, Videos, Web Resources | Tags:

The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille, 202 pgs.

The Culture Code by cultural anthropologist (and French ex-pat) Clotaire Rapaille explores the unconscious meanings we apply to products, relationships and our country through the lens of the culture in which we are raised. Below are some of the codes discussed in the book; some of which are incredibly obvious, and others, somewhat shocking. You’ll have to read the book to find out more…

Some American Culture Codes explored in the book:



Love=False Expectation



Beauty=Man’s Salvation

Fat=Checking Out



Work=Who You Are


Quality=It Works


Luxury=Military Stripes



Shopping=Reconnecting with Life

Culture Codes for countries:

France=IDEA/French code for America=Space Travelers

England=CLASS/English code for America=Unashamedly Abundant

Germany=ORDER/German code for America=John Wayne


“The Culture Code offers the benefit of great new freedom gained from understanding why you act the way you do. It gives you a new set of glasses with which you can see the world in a new way. We are all individuals, and each of us has a complex set of motivations, inspirations, and guiding principles–a personal Code, if you will. However, seeing how we think as a culture, how we behave as a group in predictable patterns based on the survival kit we received at birth as Americans, or English, or French, enables us to navigate our world with a vision we’ve heretofore lacked.” — Clotaire Rapaille

Fast-paced, easy to read and peppered with examples from Ropaille’s extensive marketing work, The Culture Code is A fascinating read for anyone interested in how we as a culture operate, our reasons for doing so and how others view us.

If you’re at all interested, you can also check out the Frontline episode “The Persuaders” part of which features the work of Monsieur Rapaille.

In a similar vein, check out this awesome on-line project by Noah Brier, “a collective experiment in brand perception.” I think the brand clouds for American Apparel and Fox News are my personal favorites.


Miss LGG


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