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INTRODUCTION Mary Douglas

David Ostrander organized the original conference in 1978. He wrote for it an introductory paper which aimed to introduce grid/group analysis by contrast with famous attempts to typologize social experience. Ingenious and clear, perhaps he oversimplified the great nineteenth-century sociological types and present-day theoretical contrasts. But he succeeds in his mission, which was to lay to rest the nagging sense of familiarity, 'where have I heard this before? How does it differ from what I have heard before?1 He sets the effort of this book in a historical context and introduces his persuasive insights on one-dimensional and two-dimensional typologies.