Gossip

Gossip

Too often we dismiss the role that gossip plays in maintaining a culture. But gossip is actually like cultural law enforcement – in people’s homes – in storytelling form. It is important to all groups to define what behavior is expected from its members if they are to benefit from the safety and support of the group. Who gets talked about – and for what reason – provides guideposts about what is acceptable and what puts members at risk. Group shaming, some degree of whispers, shunning or marginalization are risks people face when they stray too far – when they threaten the group with their actions.  Each generation has to deal with concerned elders – seniors who worry that something vital is being lost. How many teens face furious or disappointed grandparents as they find their own way? Assimilation can be seen as a great risk – or a great advance. The stories in your group often try to steer people to maintain traditions.

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