The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.
Note that signs on their own, while sometimes interesting, only become truly revelatory and useful once they’re sorted into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.
“TIES THAT BIND” NORM: Family and community are held together by rituals — things we enjoy doing together, regularly.
“TIES THAT BIND” FORMS: Most typically, families eating together — or BBQing, going to beach. Nourishing the soul: “Live like your song just came on.” “Some things are bigger than banking (like getting family together for Sunday supper).” “Dominoes and chicken soup at midnight.”
Note from consumer research: This code can feel clichéd without subtle, telling details and texture. AOC’s Instagram post has texture; the advertisements — though joyful and inoffensive — not so much.
From a 2020 audit (inc. consumer research) of African American and Latinx cultural codes.