The Role of Cultural Indoctrination in Architectural Style: Religion as a Mediator

The Role of Cultural Indoctrination in Architectural Style: Religion as a Mediator

Gülşah Koç (Yıldız Technical University, Turkey) and Bryan Christiansen (PryMarke LLC, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 34
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1744-3.ch001
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This chapter examines the potential influence of cultural indoctrination (CI) on architectural style worldwide. Based on an encompassing literature review, this chapter focuses on the mediator of religion among the seven factors which are included in the established conceptual framework for CI; namely, Child Development, Cultural Institutionalization, Cultural Intelligence, Social Learning Theory, Religion, Social Capital, and Values Orientation Theory (VOT). The conceptual framework is presented for potential future application in architectural style and practice.
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The purpose of this chapter is to explore the potential influence of cultural indoctrination (CI) on architectural style worldwide as there is scant research on CI in general and absolutely none on its connection with architecture (Christiansen & Koeman, 2015; Mileto et al., 2015). Therefore, the goal of connecting these two very diverse fields is to contribute to the extant literature on architecture by examining how deeply ingrained cultural habits obtained from birth can affect the style of architecture in ways not previously considered. There are numerous aspects of architecture which are all connected to two fundamental questions (King, 1980):

  • What can we understand about a society by examining its buildings and physical environment?

  • What can we understand about buildings and environment by examining the society in which they exist?

Christiansen (2016) established a conceptual framework for CI that includes the following factors which are fundamental to answering these two questions: Child Development, Cultural Intelligence (CQ), Social Learning Theory, Cultural Institutionalization, Religion, Social Capital, and Values Orientation Theory (VOT). It is from these factors grouped in the conceptual framework in Figure 1 below that we shall explore present and future application in architectural style (Correia, Carlos, & Rocha, 2014). We shall be using the Religion mediator alone as the entry point for this chapter for two reasons: 1) The scope of this chapter would not permit us to examine all the other factors in the framework; 2) Religion pervades human existence and is long considered a critical element in the lives of most people (Chandan, 2014).

Figure 1.


This chapter is organized in the following manner. The first section provides some further explanation about CI which includes three Propositions related to the CI framework for future research. The second section is a detailed discussion about different architectural styles related to religion. The third section covers Future Research Directions followed by the Conclusion. The reader should consider this definition of CI before reading further:

Cultural Indoctrination (CI) is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, and cognitive strategies during the transfer of cultural traditions from one generation to the next with the expectation that such traditions will be continued and not questioned in the future.

The major contribution of this chapter to the extant literature on architecture is to provide a springboard for future research which can have an impact on the field. This work is neither designed nor expected to be an empirical piece with specific solutions or answers. That effort is left to those researchers who will use the conceptual framework for that purpose.


Cultural Indoctrination (Ci)

Cultural origins can permit the prediction of individual behavior under various situations (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2010; Hofstede, 2001; Hall, 1976). It might be surprising to read that nearly 100 years ago the terms indoctrination and education were considered nearly synonymous (Gatchel, 1972), although there should be little doubt today that this is simply not the case. Indoctrination covers multiple aspects of human existence such as rationality, moral education, religion, freedom, and even intentions (Snook, 1972). The term often carries the negative connotation of “brainwashing” which was first coined by Edward Hunter in 1950 from the Chinese word “hsi nao” or “cleansing of the mind” (Winn, 1983), but this is not the context in which the word “indoctrination” is used in this chapter or framework.

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