People only see what they are prepared to see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture Sleuthing
The Search for our Cultural DNA

The first chapters of our personal stories are written for us – written in us – before we even go to school. Daily routines and habits carry messages that settle in as assumptions that can last a lifetime. Who were the heroes and villains in our bedtime stories or in gossip whispered at the kitchen table? Were the words “I’m sorry” a natural part of daily life or were feuds held onto with vigor? How firmly drawn were the expectations for boys vs girls? What consequences awaited kids who didn’t fit the norm? Lessons lived – not lessons taught.

Nature vs Nurture

These assumptions can impact how we see the world and how we see ourselves operating within it. But, unlike our genealogical descent, our cultural influences can be edited. We can take the sting out of some of our old insecurities. We can rewrite an internal script or two.

The root of the root and the bud of the bud

e.e. cummings

Our Culture Sleuth Program will help you find some of the generational threads woven into your relationship with the world.

(Music for video by Two Dark Birds)

Culture Sleuth – Putting the next generation in the driver’s seat.

As adults we can explore on our own. The process can be informal and fun.

But, at Art in Real Life, we recommend putting the next generation in the driver’s seat. With a little support from you (depending on your Sleuth’s age), kids can become family heroes and learn some key life lessons at the same time. By simply asking and listening, they invite people to be seen and understood. This spirit of reflection and appreciation can linger and spread.

Conversations that get in touch with long ago. Imagine a conversation with Aunts and Grandmas about what being a girl meant way back then – and how those lessons may drive them still.

Or a conversation with Uncles and Grandpas about what being a boy meant back then …. I promise you, how they felt when they were young is in YOUR starter kit. Your magnet surely picked it up. We humans know that life is complex and we pick up clues …

It’s all about the questions

…questions that bring those players in our early lives back to the table to revisit THEIR early experiences. Questions that show interest and respect. Questions that expose how much alike we all are.

You will find step by step guidance on the pages that follow. Or – to encourage real ownership and independence – our Culture Sleuth Workbook has everything your child will need to lead the project like a pro. All the context and questions at their fingertips.

As a parent you can be as involved – or as background – as you choose to be. You will be there to support them – to make it easy and fun until they can operate on their own. Later you can help them put their stories together – so they can give them back to the family.

Let's Get Started!
Culture Sleuth Workbook
Culture Sleuth Workbook
Everything Sleuths will need right at their fingertips. Packed with learning that makes cultural concepts and processes inviting and enjoyable - all delivered with a light touch. Get the workbook, or pick up the expanded Ace edition.