The package of individualist values and beliefs is made credible (and workable) by a social context in which prescriptions are weak and group boundaries nonexistent. Joining several environmental and safety groups, for instance, would put our individualist in contact with many people who not only shared his views on deforestation but also held anti-individualist views on system blame, on poverty, on social programs, on foreign policy, and on a panoply of other issues. For an individualist to accept the proposition that the forest industry must be regulated is to make an exception to his preference for untrammeled self-regulation. If the exceptions multiply, however, the rule itself at some point begins to be thrown into question. Cultural theory, in generating proposals for research projects by which its validity can be tested, as well as in providing a position from which the major theoretical trends in social science can be surveyed, criticized, and compared, does what a theory has to do.