Purity rules and emphasis on obedience to authority are tools that help small-scale societies increase group cohesion and survival. Collaborating with Scholars On the Other Side. My research, my teaching, and my traveling showed me that for the majority of cultures that have thrived on our planet, socially conservative political views made a lot of sense. But what really made me more tolerant about the other side was when I started rubbing shoulders in a collaboration with scholars who self-identified as centrist, middle-of-the-road, politically moderate, religious, and even conservative. Wesley wildman, a school of Theology professor, religious studies scholar, and wide-ranging thinker, asked me to become a research associate at the. Institute for the bio-cultural Study of Religion. Sitting in meetings with fellow members of the institutes.
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They are easily initiated and routinely abandoned, as when, for example, we choose to relocate for a ditlevsen better paying job. In collectivist societies, the familial ties and deep friendships that arise from never leaving your hometown and investing daily in relationship management provide a buffer against loneliness and depression. The downside is that collectivist cultures can have an oppressive small-town mentality that punishes nonconformists who challenge religious, gender, or sex role norms. As a liberal, i spent many years holding conservative values in contempt. Exploit and vilify immigrants? Hold men and women to different standards of sexual behavior? Dismiss those living in poverty? Enact legislation to help those who were already successful keep their wealth? So what hit me so hard when reading the work of Jonathan haidt was the realization that the three moral systems that liberals disavow, but conservatives embrace (that is, respect for authority, prioritizing in-group members, purity) are the hallmarks of the collectivist value systems. My current and more sympathetic understanding is that the central goal of collectivist societies (and social conservatism as a political ideology) is reserving resources for the in-group, a strategy that was necessary in earlier eras when the neighboring tribe was encroaching on your territory and.
In fact, many Americans recall being warned not to loan money to friends, because that puts friendships in danger. In contrast, my turkish collaborator, ayse aycicegi-dinn, explains that Turkish friends loan money to deepen mutual obligations while avoiding paying interest to banks. Cross-cultural psychologists do not view either individualism or collectivism as inherently superior or inferior. They understand that each system has evolved to solve the problem of how individuals can benefit from living in groups, and they see both systems as having pros and cons. Individualist societies like ours allow people to pursue their dreams (pro but when big aspirations crumble because of bad luck resume or intense competition, they may lack a safety net, either in terms of government services or family support (con). In individualistic societies, transactions are abstract and conveniently monetized (pro). But when we dont trade our labor and time with our neighbors for mutual benefit, we miss an opportunity for friendships to be built around helping each other (con). And indeed, friendships in individualist societies are typically many, diverse, and often shallow.
Not care about global warming? Harmful, wrong, and unfair! The turks, literature Indians, elderly polish, kazakhs, and Chinese presumably grew up in cultures where a premium was placed on sharing resources with in-group members, and where family members are expected to subordinate their own goals to those of the group. In contrast, individualistic societies are tolerant of nonconformity and celebrate the pursuit of ones individual goals and self-expression. The kind of urban living that most of us experience, for example, offers options that reduce the need to rely on other people. If there is a 24-hour convenience store down the street (or if you have a car and can stock up on supplies then you dont need to knock on your neighbors door to borrow a cup of sugar. City dwellers usually have bank and insurance accounts, lined which means we dont have to store up favors with friends to be assured of having their back when an emergency hits.
Neither System Is Better, when I teach these concepts in a cross-cultural psychology class, i typically ask students to discuss crosscultural teasers like these: A researcher in Turkey is helping you translate your sociological questionnaire into turkish, but she claims that a question on homelessness. Many Americans think it is good for all teenagers to have an after-school job, but Indians feel this should be done only if the family needs the money. An American entrepreneur explains to his elderly polish relatives that his son has succeeded in business without having his father pull any strings or offer any financial assistance. The polish relatives are horrified. A graduate student from kazakhstan has to forgo completing her PhD to return home to earn money so that her nephews can finish high school. Americans are urged to say i love you regularly to family members; many Chinese young adults say their parents have never once said wo ai ni to them. I spent years holding conservative values in contempt.
Minimal pairs - lesson 13: made-mad
Righteous Mind: Why good people Are divided by politics and Religion ) Jonathan haidts five foundations of morality. Id admired haidts work since i started assigning his 2007. New Yorker video to ella my cross-cultural psychology and cognitive psychology classes. Haidt had once given a colloquium to my department and visited my lab. In recent years the new York University professor has become something of a rock star of social psychology, largely because of his persuasive analysis of the value systems of liberals and of conservatives.
Haidt proposes that the moral worldview of liberals focuses on justice and fairness, with equal treatment for all, and on care. Harm, which involves having compassion for others. Political conservatives also have these values, says haidt, but they are influenced by three other moral systems: respect for hierarchy, favoring ones in-group over the out-group, and valuing purity (a complex concept that involves sexual propriety, nobility, and avoiding disgusting objects). The idea that different groups embrace different value systems was, of course, not new, but prior to reading haidt I had considered respect for authority, in-group favoritism, and purity to be components of collectivist cultural groups, which are usually associated with developing nations and are. Collectivism is widespread throughout the rest of the world, particularly in what researchers call small scale societies, but it is also present in large and well organized societies such as China, where traditional values and wisdoms from premodern times, such as Confucian teachings, remain influential.
Wo ai ni (I love you). My husband and I had lived in rented apartments, and Id traveled by bus or bike to meet every day with student assistants. Id hung out in parks with my laptop, writing my academic papers, observing people playing and exercising, trying to communicate with interested locals who wanted to have their first conversation with an American. Once, during a visit to a local Starbucks, i was startled to see a woman, a foreigner, who appeared to have some sort of facial dysmorphology. The bony protuberances of her cheekbones made me try to remember the name of the disease that could cause. She was a normal woman with a strong nose and cheekbones, characteristically germanic features.
It turned out that three months of living as the rare caucasian in Chinese neighborhoods had reconfigured my face recognition system (think of fumbling for words in your native tongue when youve been daily using another language). Back in Massachusetts, my face recognition system had almost instantly popped back to its normal setting. But the China trip had sensitized me to the virtue of minimizing individualist displays and respecting the desires of those above one in the social hierarchy. In the collectivist cultures of East Asia, people have been less concerned with expressing their individuality and more concerned about harmonious relations with others, including being sensitive to negative appraisal by others. One result is a well-behaved classroom of 30 preschoolers led by one teacher and an assistant. As I sat at dinner with my female friends, i thought about the subtle power of social norms and respect for authority. In addition to the lessons of living in China, i remembered social psychologist (and author of the 2012 book.
Great dialogues of Plato : Plato
You are defiantly not fitting in with the group. You are imposing on others by shrieking, look at me! I was also aware that my thoughts about the purple hair incident were very plan different from what they would have been a few years ago. They were changed by several things, but the most powerful forces were my readings in social and cross-cultural psychology and my experiences in other cultures. Overseas Education, it was may 2008. Weeks earlier I had returned from a semester-long sabbatical in China, where i had traveled with my taiwanese doctoral student for two research projects, both about language, but quite different. One project studied the cognitive processing underlying reading Chinese script, and the other involved interviews and questionnaires on the comfort and frequency of use of the phrase.
But I had to dye it back. The group nodded and rolled their eyes in sympathetic outrage. The owner demand of the hair didnt even interact with the public! The business didnt have a published dress code! To redye hair, it has to be bleached, and thats a health risk! Like others who grew up in an age of personal freedom, i, too, reasoned, back off. Im not hurting anyone else by doing. Inside, however, i was coming down on the side of management, and heres why: dyeing your hair purple as a 20-something shows a lack of respect to your managers and fellow employees. It makes you stand out.
the county commissioner in the fourth row: that climate change is a trojan horse designed to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of eco-socialism. As conference speaker Larry bell succinctly puts it in his new book. Climate of Corruption, climate change has little to do with the state of the environment and much to do with shackling capitalism and transforming the American way of life in the interests of global wealth redistribution. What It means When you dye your hair Purple. Should a 20-something information technology specialist, by all accounts a competent employee, be able to dye her long, wavy brown hair purple without getting grief from management? That question was at the heart of the conversation at a recent dinner for a group of intelligent and age-diverse women. Management went apoplectic, the woman said. Sure, they said my hair wasnt relevant to my job performance; they agreed I did my job well.
Still, the assignment panelists arent going to pass up an opportunity to tell the questioner just how right. Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the competitive enterprise Institute who specializes in harassing climate scientists with nuisance lawsuits and Freedom of Information fishing expeditions, angles the table mic over to his mouth. You can believe this is about the climate, he says darkly, and many people do, but its not a reasonable belief. Horner, whose prematurely silver hair makes him look like a right-wing Anderson cooper, likes to invoke saul Alinsky: The issue isnt the issue. The issue, apparently, is that no free society would do to itself what this agenda requires. The first step to that is to remove these nagging freedoms that keep getting in the way. Claiming that climate change is a plot to steal American freedom is rather tame by heartland standards. Over the course of this two-day conference, i will learn that Obamas campaign promise to support locally owned biofuels refineries was really about green communitarianism, akin to the maoist scheme to put a pig iron furnace in everybodys backyard (the cato Institutes Patrick michaels). That climate change is a stalking horse for National Socialism (former Republican senator and retired astronaut Harrison Schmitt).
Animal liberation and plant liberation - vegetus
A dried-up riverbed at huangyangchuan reservoir in Lanzhou, shredder china. (Reuters / China daily). There is a question from a gentleman in the fourth row. He introduces himself as Richard Rothschild. He tells the crowd that he ran for county commissioner in Marylands Carroll county because he had come to the conclusion that policies to combat global warming were actually an attack on middle-class American capitalism. His question for the panelists, gathered in a washington, dc, marriott Hotel in late june, is this: to what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine? Here at the heartland Institutes Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, the premier gathering for those dedicated to denying the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet, this qualifies as a rhetorical question. Like asking a meeting of German central bankers if Greeks are untrustworthy.