You should take a look at Coordinated Management of Meaning. Drawing on Wittgenstein’s language games (which you should also take a look at if you don’t know them!), this systems approach – often used in family theory – seems to me to be talking about exactly the same thing you are discussing. This ‘meaning in frames’ is a really big insight I think, but the question that arises for me here is, why are we then not locked in to these cultures you describe? How do we adjust about different cultures? How do different and contested ethics and emotional experiences emerge?

I’d also link this, since it is such a fundamental topic, to Alasdair Macintyre’s understanding of ethics situated in communities and practices, and to the meta-contextuality discussions at

This may be more a note to self but I think all these threads connect.

FWIW, in organisational life we use the model from Macdonald et al, after Jacques, that culture is the stories told about the core, gut, emotional responses to organisational symbolism, people system, and leadership behaviours. This makes it recursive/hermeneutic and brings in the core ‘moral emotions’ perhaps best described by Haidt. (Which, if correct, perhaps offer some answers to my questions above)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store