If we have norms such that each copy of a common behavior must to be a tiny step away from from its parent, rather than a giant step or no step, this would seem to make culture much more amenable to gradient descent via evolution than it otherwise would be.
Is the latter somehow reason for us seeing the former? For instance, did ancient groups who frowned on really weird people and who felt awkward being too conformist outflourish other groups with their better evolved cultural norms and artifacts?
Also, is this picture true and applicable to the real world? Is the size of these steps in human culture such that culture learns well? Can you see such effects in the world?
Is this why women’s clothing—which seems expected to vary more between women—also changes faster over time than men’s clothing? (Is that even true?)