So here's a little radar diagram that I've done up to represent some of the things we discussed this afternoon. Specifically, it relates to the idea I had about mapping congregations in terms of their expressed levels of diversity on the horizontal axis and tolerance of diversity on the y-axis. If we further break diversity and corresponding tolerance down into beliefs, behaviours and demographics categories, we could arrange measures for specific faith communities as such:
If we could swap perceived for actual the above schematic, then I think we’d have an interesting handle on what it means to be a tighter faith community (i.e. a relatively small surface area - Church B in this example). The problem with this of course is that doing so would require a list of all the beliefs individuals are supposed to subscribe to and getting a sense of existing drift for each community. Not intractable, but certaintly not feasible for the moment. So we may be stuck with perceived. Actually, now that I think about it, having all three would be ideal - actual, perceived, tolerance. As it stands, “behavioural diversity” is a little up in the air… do we mean life behaviours or worship/religious behaviours?
Thoughts? Specifically, is surface area a decent measure of tightness? For example, what if group C is really high on diversity, but low on corresponding tolerance measures, and group D is low on diversity measures but really high on corresponding tolerance measures. Both would have the same area but be manifestly different groups. Clearly some distinguishing power is lost. Are both congregations effectively equally Tight but for different reasons? I don't think so, as one would be open to increasing diversity while the other is not. Does this mean the polygon created by the Tolerance axes is the Tightness measure and the other half really constitutes a Disparity measure between "ideal" and "actual" or "perceived"?