Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A View on the Separation of Church and State



Speaking from a sociological perspective, it is a good idea to have separation of church and State. The two are totally different entities. This does not mean that a State cannot be based on or supported by the doctrine of a religion/church or faith. However, it is important that these two social institutions remain separate because they are fundamentally different. The State is an entity called government, whether by the people or not, reins in or controls society in order to benefit the common good which in many societies observed throughout history this has been the case; and quite often those in government positions have a family history of being in government and or are members of the ruling elite. Given that, to impose upon people what you think is good or right is to their (ruling elite) benefit then and not the churches.  Most people reading this are passionate spirit believers and cannot accept that the real strength in bringing people to Christ is to rest in Him and that is faith which is about accepting God’s grace. Living under the law was removed at the cross.  All too often, Americans turn to the law (listen to Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s program on Basis for Morality, What the Cross can do and Politics Can’t - online radio program 'Running to Win') The fault of Americans is the idea that suffering is bad and hence we turn more and more to the law to end suffering. We rally together to stop suffering.  That is why we have lobbyists... groups lobbying for law to stop suffering that we feel we are undergoing and if only given power in the State our suffering will end... Hebrews thought and did just that in the past.
Our Founding Fathers experienced opposing views on the role of the State and thankfully realized that as long as the State does not take control or take sides and allows for all people in the State to practice free market and what they believe, that life will be as fair as it possibly can in this fallen world.  That is why, any State funded public facility or place cannot show favoritism toward any one religion over another. They can all be represented equally or not represented at all by the State.
Can people of the State go into public facilities, ministering? Based on the above, the answer is no.  Is this problematic for the Christian? Yes and No. Yes, because he/she is required to minister the word of God. I would argue that one can do that through behavior which sends a message that can be as clear as a bell of any scripture; and therefore, it is not problematic for the Christian. As I Stated above, rest in the Lord.  I would add though and even stress that it is problematic for the Christian who is a zealous in his thinking and even repenting as this often leads them to think that by his/her own works and pressing upon others his/her view of scripture is doing the will of the Creator.  Handing out shoe boxes, even to children, is not the same as the ‘roadside Samaritan’ which shows us that situations will come to us or be made available to us in which we should be prepared for and thus will know it is the right situation to minister.  Many ministries today seek to radically change the individual’s situation.  Is that their job? Christ Jesus is the Savior.
Many will argue that this is what we are called to do. I know from my own experience that radical approaches do not work.  Neither does the approach to go with gifts. There is no benefit for the Christian or the non-Christian as such offerings can lead to the receiver believing  more in the bearer of gifts than in the message intended which is to tell everyone that they (by themselves) can reach out to the Lord. 
As a child, I believed in Santa Claus and did not want to accept that my parents were the ones giving the gifts.  One could argue that ‘Santa’ is like Jesus and the missionary like the parents. I also know that as a child, getting those presents from ‘Santa Claus’ was special. Did I truly believe he was the provider? No, because I already had a Christian background. I was able to appreciate that my parents were the ones behind the scenes as I knew that they were spirit filled and chose to give gifts. Yes, this is the missionary’s idea too. But, they forget that if the receive does not already have a Christian background, the message can be received differently. However, children are exceptional in that they can often see past the veil of deception and they see the true spirit in people. That’s my opinion.  What worries me is that such gift giving could turn parents and children against each other as the parents could be insulted by the missionary who is doing for his/her child.
Yes, we want suffering to stop. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, including children, is a job to be done by all; but, we as Christians have to be and should be most careful as to how we go about doing it. Why?
 Ask yourself, are you a Christian because a missionary/pastor/neighbor gave you gifts every year at a certain time or are you a Christian because you were introduced to the Creator of Heaven and Earth simply through His word you gave to believe in the Lord God Jesus Christ, without candy/gifts.  Give a Bible and tell those who can read to Read Acts 17:24 to all who cannot. People need to be encouraged to reach out to the Lord and seek a relationship with Him.  Like Mike Brown says “you think about that.” 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Get Your Facts Right!



 The Social Imagination is Fascinating

 Get your facts right


By Ben Hirschler
LONDON (Reuters) - Italians and Americans score worst when it comes to correctly assessing basic facts of modern life, such as what proportion of the population are immigrants or Muslims and what percentage of teenage girls get pregnant.
Swedes and Germans do best, although even they consistently get things wrong, according to a survey of 14 industrialized countries released on Wednesday.
The analysis by market research organization Ipsos MORI shows how far perceptions stray from reality across a range of issues as people struggle to get a precise handle on aspects of society that are seen as risks or worries.
Levels of immigration -- a hot-button topic in many developed countries -- are overestimated everywhere but the United States veers further from reality than most, with an average guess that 32 percent of the population are immigrants when the reality is 13 percent.
Italy fares even worse, with an average guess of 30 percent against a real figure of only seven percent.
Italians are also spectacularly bad at estimating the number of old people in the country, believing that 48 percent are over 65 years old. In reality, the over-65s make up a fifth of the population -- a relatively high figure but no higher than in Germany and considerably lower than in Japan.
Teenage pregnancy is another issue where people everywhere get the sums badly wrong, reflecting the difficulty of assessing occurrences that are relatively rare.
Americans think 24 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 give birth each year, when the real figure is just 3 percent, and even the sensible Swedes are badly out, believing the annual teenage pregnancy rate is 8 percent compared to the actual 0.7 percent.
"People are just not very good at math and they find it particularly hard to make estimates about very large numbers or very small numbers," said Bobby Duffy, global director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute.
"It seems people remember vivid anecdotes about things, regardless of whether they are describing something very rare."
Health experts have bemoaned similar perception problems in the current Ebola outbreak, where public alarm over a handful of cases in the United States is at odds with the real risks. This topic was not covered in the survey, which was conducted in August among more than 11,000 people across the 14 countries.
RELIGIOUS DIVIDES
Estimating religious groupings in society is another area where perception is seriously out of kilter with reality. Like other controversial topics, it is a subject where media coverage is likely to play a role in exaggerating misconceptions.
People hugely overestimate the proportion of Muslims living in their country, with the French putting the figure at 31 percent, when the real figure is 8 percent. The British guess at 21 percent (real figure 5 percent) and Americans estimate 15 percent (real figure 1 percent).
Even in countries such as Hungary, Poland, South Korea and Japan, where fewer than one percent of the population is Muslim, people put the figure at four to seven percent.
By contrast, majority-Christian countries tend to underestimate how many people count themselves as Christian.
The ramifications of widespread ignorance about basic measures of what is happening in society are unclear but they could potentially influence behavior and undermine rational political debate.
If, as the survey found, people routinely underestimate the proportion of the population that votes in elections, there may be a persistent downward drift in voter turnout.
Similarly, if people are not accurately assessing the impact of policies in areas such as immigration, then action by governments may not influence the political debate as expected.
Much of the disconnect may be down to "emotional innumeracy" when answering, according to Duffy, who believes people may be sending a message about what is worrying them as much as trying to reply to the questions correctly.
"Cause and effect can run both ways, with our concern leading to our misperceptions as much as our misperceptions creating our concern," he said.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Dark Side of Charles Darwin

Before I give you to read two reviews about the book The Dark Side of Charles Darwin by Dr. Jerry Bergman, I would like to remind speaking as a sociologist, that science does not exist outside the social reality.
 The Dark Side of Charles Darwin is a book written by Jerry Bergman. Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at the college level for over 30 years. He has 9 degrees, including 7 graduate degrees, and has authored over 800 publications. He is not only the author of The Dark Side of Charles Darwin but also the co-author of In Six Days and Persuaded by the Evidence.
I provide two reviews. The first is by Fritz R. Ward - "There is actually some discrepancy between the title of this book and the contents. Darwin's "dark" side is not, for the most part, something deeply sinister as some might infer from the title. It is rather that Darwin was subject to the same follies as most humans are. He was at times pompous, disagreeable, and inclined to overestimate his own abilities and competence. He was often unwilling to abandon his own ideas, even when he knew they were wrong, and he was not above attacking on a personal level those who found professional points of disagreement with him. And he was above all, a man of his time, specifically Victorian England. His "dark side" then is the Darwin that is not so much sinister as he is human. Historians have written about these issues for years, and the best of the their work is well summarized in this new book by Jerry Bergman.

Darwin's life comes in for some critical examination by Bergman. He reviews literature on Darwin's health, his views on Christianity, his scholarship, and his views on racism and sexism. Most of what appears in this book is widely known to specialists, but it is rarely compiled in such a comprehensive fashion. Yes, Darwin was explicitly trying to undermine Christianity. The myth that he found evidence for evolution and then gradually moved towards agnosticism, while promoted by Darwin himself, is largely untrue. Darwin's work was an explicit attempt to resolve a problem, theodicy (how to justify an all loving God in a world that includes sorrow and death) that vexed Victorian theologians by simply removing God from nature altogether. And while Darwin's influence on theology is still widely felt, both by atheists and unorthodox theists, his actual scientific work was often wanting. Darwin was not above plagiarism, where it suited his purpose, nor was he above falsifying evidence when it promoted his theories, most especially in his book "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals." He also continued to support his pangenesis ideas even after they were empirically falsified.

But Darwin's failures in these areas are hardly unique. Confronted with contrary evidence, few scientists are as responsible as the late Sir Fred Hoyle in simply abandoning their theoretical models. Indeed, many scientists today are not above covering up their reliance on others or shoddy scholarship when it suits their purposes. But in some areas Darwin's views went far beyond what was the norm for his own age and profession. Bergman demonstrates that racism and sexism, widely attributed to followers of Darwin misapplying his work, were concepts actually found in Darwin's writing. Indeed, they were central to his thesis. Yes, it is true that Darwin opposed slavery. But it is equally true that his own writings were often more racist than was typical for Victorians.

In the final analysis, none of this should matter to the "science" of evolution. If Darwin was correct, and many people still believe he is (though by all accounts, his theory of pangenesis has been completely displaced by gene theory, and Darwin himself viewed the latter as central to understanding evolution) then what difference does it make if he had personal shortcomings? And the answer is, none at all. But I suspect that this book will receive unfavorable reactions from many who believe in evolution anyway, and this despite its careful summation of critical historical scholarship that is well documented in the endnotes to each chapter. The reason is that Darwinian thought is at once more and less than what is commonly considered science proper. For some writers like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, it is the basis of a secular religion. Darwin is thus not simply a scientist who did careful research on barnacles, collected species while on an expedition, and occasionally wrote longer treatises which have been somewhat discredited. He is the founder of a cult, and his status among the followers of this cult is near sainthood. But as all good religious scholars know, the criteria for sainthood must also include hearing from the Devil's Advocate. Such a voice has been conspicuously absent from the popular hoopla that surrounded the 150 year publication celebration of 'The Origin of Species.' This new book by Jerry Bergman fills that void nicely.
 There is actually some discrepancy between the title of this book and the contents. Darwin's "dark" side is not, for the most part, something deeply sinister as some might infer from the title. It is rather that Darwin was subject to the same follies as most humans are. He was at times pompous, disagreeable, and inclined to overestimate his own abilities and competence. He was often unwilling to abandon his own ideas, even when he knew they were wrong, and he was not above attacking on a personal level those who found professional points of disagreement with him. And he was above all, a man of his time, specifically Victorian England. His "dark side" then is the Darwin that is not so much sinister as he is human. Historians have written about these issues for years, and the best of the their work is well summarized in this new book by Jerry Bergman.

Darwin's life comes in for some critical examination by Bergman. He reviews literature on Darwin's health, his views on Christianity, his scholarship, and his views on racism and sexism. Most of what appears in this book is widely known to specialists, but it is rarely compiled in such a comprehensive fashion. Yes, Darwin was explicitly trying to undermine Christianity. The myth that he found evidence for evolution and then gradually moved towards agnosticism, while promoted by Darwin himself, is largely untrue. Darwin's work was an explicit attempt to resolve a problem, theodicy (how to justify an all loving God in a world that includes sorrow and death) that vexed Victorian theologians by simply removing God from nature altogether. And while Darwin's influence on theology is still widely felt, both by atheists and unorthodox theists, his actual scientific work was often wanting. Darwin was not above plagiarism, where it suited his purpose, nor was he above falsifying evidence when it promoted his theories, most especially in his book "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals." He also continued to support his pangenesis ideas even after they were empirically falsified.

But Darwin's failures in these areas are hardly unique. Confronted with contrary evidence, few scientists are as responsible as the late Sir Fred Hoyle in simply abandoning their theoretical models. Indeed, many scientists today are not above covering up their reliance on others or shoddy scholarship when it suits their purposes. But in some areas Darwin's views went far beyond what was the norm for his own age and profession. Bergman demonstrates that racism and sexism, widely attributed to followers of Darwin misapplying his work, were concepts actually found in Darwin's writing. Indeed, they were central to his thesis. Yes, it is true that Darwin opposed slavery. But it is equally true that his own writings were often more racist than was typical for Victorians.

In the final analysis, none of this should matter to the "science" of evolution. If Darwin was correct, and many people still believe he is (though by all accounts, his theory of pangenesis has been completely displaced by gene theory, and Darwin himself viewed the latter as central to understanding evolution) then what difference does it make if he had personal shortcomings? And the answer is, none at all. But I suspect that this book will receive unfavorable reactions from many who believe in evolution anyway, and this despite its careful summation of critical historical scholarship that is well documented in the endnotes to each chapter. The reason is that Darwinian thought is at once more and less than what is commonly considered science proper. For some writers like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, it is the basis of a secular religion. Darwin is thus not simply a scientist who did careful research on barnacles, collected species while on an expedition, and occasionally wrote longer treatises which have been somewhat discredited. He is the founder of a cult, and his status among the followers of this cult is near sainthood. But as all good religious scholars know, the criteria for sainthood must also include hearing from the Devil's Advocate. Such a voice has been conspicuously absent from the popular hoopla that surrounded the 150 year publication celebration of 'The Origin of Species.' This new book by Jerry Bergman fills that void nicely."

The second review is by Jan Peczkis - "This iconoclastic work is based on in-depth scholarship. It is undoubtedly a major contribution to the history of science. Whether you idolize Darwin or scorn him, you will learn something new. Rather than repeating other reviewers, I focus mostly on specific issues.

In 2005, Judge Jones (as many other judges before him) insisted that there is no conflict between evolution and theism. (p. 45). Bergman begs to differ. He cites William Provine, who contends that such a position is based on ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, or wishful thinking. (p. 57). Many other cited leading scientists, such as Jerry Coyne, late Stephen Jay Gould, Scott Todd, and others, affirm this incompatibility.

Nor are these selected personages. A survey shows that 98.7% of leading scientists reject a theistic worldview, and 84% rejected all theistic religions. (p. 52). Another survey, of 149 leading biologists, found that only 6% of them believe that evolution has any purpose beyond the survival of the organism. (p. 80). [Some might argue that even the term "purpose of survival" is misleading, as it would imply that evolution is teleological in a sense. Survivorship of organisms is an outcome, not a goal or purpose. Evolution just happens: It has no goals or purposes.]

Atheism ran in Darwin's family. His father and grandfather had been atheists. Darwin argued that religion could best be undermined by gradual promotion of naturalism, and not by open attacks on religion. His "soft" atheism was motivated by public-relations considerations (p. 114), and probably also was motivated by his desire not to antagonize his devout wife and his Christian colleagues. (e.g., p. 68). Bergman suggests that part of Darwin's psychological problems revolved around his rejection of God, and other implications of his theory. (p. 108, 111, 117). Interestingly, Darwin may have suffered from Asperger's Syndrome. (pp. 95-96).
This work is filled with interesting information. For instance, did you know that children tend to be resistant to evolution because they see the world as filled with design and purpose? (p. 76). To be successful, evolution education must indoctrinate them to see things in a different way.

Just how original were Darwin's ideas? Bergman presents impressive evidence to show that Darwin copied, even plagiarized, others' ideas. For instance, English naturalist Edward Blythe (1810-1873) came up with the ideas of natural and sexual selection, the importance of variation in selection, and the struggle for existence, before Darwin did. However, Blythe had done it in a creationist context. (pp. 147-148). Otherwise, Darwin believed in pangenesis (p. 189), and held essentially Lamarckian ideas about the transmission of genetic information to successive generations. (pp. 194-196).

Racism and sexism were common in Victorian society, and it has been argued that Darwin's adherence to such views was merely because of his being part of a society that esteemed such views. Bergman, on the other hand, shows how Darwin went far beyond the prevailing views of his time. Darwin actively developed, extended, and promoted racism and sexism in terms of his theory. For instance, Darwin's firsthand experience with South American natives, along with his theory, led him to promulgate the notion that these peoples are less evolved than white Europeans. (p. 219). Darwin also promoted eugenics. Applying his theory to male-female differences, Darwin saw men as subject to "the survival of the fittest", while women were not. For this reason, men were self-evidently more evolved than women. (pp. 246-247)."

Furthermore, I stress Christianity as the catalyst for the 'modern' world. Many intellectuals want to embrace the idea that man is his own beginning and end; "that every human action is actually the effect of a network of material practices." Which, as a sociologist, I cannot disagree with. All of social reality, which science is not separate from, is 'real' as it is experienced through social interaction which I can observe as a network of material practices that have meaning but only for those who practice them in a place as human action/interaction is in relation to place. With that in mind, regarding how the modern world came about, that is obvious. The modern world came about through Christianity based on the same social principle except that a new network arose- a new level of cognitive social imagination; not 'action' based, but 'thought' based. Pagans, all those who worship/worshiped many gods/nature' were caught up in the flesh 'ritualized physical acts in a physical world' . Even native American Indians, though thought of as spiritual people, were and are spiritual animists... those who seek spiritual revelation in the flesh of objects/animals or the sun/moon- things which can be seen. Christians are different from pagans. Christianity gave way to great discoveries because it stated that things which are seen come from that which are unseen. Christianity allowed for the atom to be observed and recognition of quantum physics. It asks that the spirit already in us (not out there in an object/animal) overcomes the flesh as that is not where true reality exists. Dr. E.F. Gallion

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Action Observation, What does it Mean for the Social Imagination?

I learned about an interesting experiment called "Action Observation Circuits in the Macaque Monkey Cortex." I provide here the. Abstract: In both monkeys and humans, the observation of actions performed by others activates cortical motor areas. An unresolved question concerns the pathways through which motor areas receive visual information describing motor acts. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we mapped the macaque brain regions activated during the observation of grasping actions, focusing on the superior temporal sulcus region (STS) and the posterior parietal lobe. Monkeys viewed either videos with only the grasping hand visible or videos with the whole actor visible. Observation of both types of grasping videos activated elongated regions in the depths of both lower and upper banks of STS, as well as parietal areas PFG and anterior intraparietal (AIP). The correlation of fMRI data with connectional data showed that visual action information, encoded in the STS, is forwarded to ventral premotor cortex (F5) along two distinct functional routes. One route connects the upper bank of the STS with area PFG, which projects, in turn, to the premotor area F5c. The other connects the anterior part of the lower bank of the STS with premotor areas F5a/p via AIP. Whereas the first functional route emphasizes the agent and may relay visual information to the parieto-frontal mirror circuit involved in understanding the agent's intentions, the second route emphasizes the object of the action and may aid in understanding motor acts with respect to their immediate goal. What does this mean? Well... it means that the topic of action observation/recognition received increased attention after the discovery of mirror neurons in ventral premotor cortex of the monkey (area F5), a class of neurons discharging both when a monkey performs a goal-directed motor act and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar motor act. *See - http://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/10/3743.full 
As a sociologist, it means, if I can put it into lay terms, that even as we watch a performance, (or action/activity) even before doing it ourselves, our brain recognizes this and records that information. Simply, in the part of our brain that would be responsible for that act/performance, when that action is viewed, our brain is stimulated as if actually doing the 'act'. This is how we are embedded from infancy with information in that babies respond to parents (mother) in all she does and what she does and how she reacts gets hard coded; so that when it comes time for baby to do it, he/she will do it automatically or without hesitation. This hard coding is a safety mechanism (for survival) inasmuch a social tool to be used for future. interaction. Which means that we better think about what we do in front of our children and what we as parents say is ok behavior. We can also consider the effects of social media (television) as producing negative results in society. A healthy society should monitor the violence and sex on television as well as what we sell each other in adds. What do we see out there today in terms of advertisement - Sex and Drugs and the law as a means to make money. As I reflect on this study I am horrified. As I see through the prism of my education that society is moving in a dangerous direction. It is being programmed to do damage rather than to do good. There is a tool used called the Sabido Methodology which I know I have written on before. It is a tool of social engineering developed by Miguel Sabido. The Sabido Method is based on character development and plot lines that provide the audience with a range of characters that they can engage with — some good, some not so good — and follow as they evolve and change. And it is change that is the key to the Sabido methodology. Characters may begin the series exhibiting the antithesis of the values being taught, but through interaction with other characters, twists and turns in the plot, and sometimes even outside intervention, come to see the value of the program’s underlying message. Yes, of course, it is and or was designed to benefit society. Which level of society? and what change does that level want for all others??? As Steve Brown says, "You think about that".

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Brad Wilcox on Marriage and Family Life

Prof. Brad Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. at Princeton University. Prior to coming to the University of Virginia, he held research fellowships at Princeton University, Yale University and the Brookings Institution.

In his book, "Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives, we can read
essays on biological and social scientific perspectives that seek to evaluate the transformative experience of parenthood for today's women and men. They map the similar and distinct roles mothers and fathers play in their children's lives and measure the effect of gendered parenting on child well-being, work and family arrangements, and the quality of couples' relationships. Contributors describe what happens to brains and bodies when women become mothers and men become fathers; whether the stakes are the same or different for each sex; why, across history and cultures, women are typically more involved in childcare than men; why some fathers are strongly present in their children's lives while others are not; and how the various commitments men and women make to parenting shape their approaches to paid work and romantic relationships. Considering recent changes in men's and women's familial duties, the growing number of single-parent families, and the impassioned tenor of same-sex marriage debates, this book adds sound scientific and theoretical insight to these issues, constituting a standout resource for those interested in the causes and consequences of contemporary gendered parenthood. Wilcox in an interview with Denis Rainy on family life, clearly stated that gendered parents as in best practices even in our modern society for raising children are male/female gendered households. There are changes in our modern society regarding women's roles and Wilcox recognizes that a lot of women today work outside the home and thus feel on equal footing in respect of financial provision and this is 'equal footing' is expected in the household concerning daily routine/tasks; I work, you work and we both work at home is basically the gist of his research outcomes. However, those maybe the expectations, marital quality is not improved by those expectations/practices.  
      The companionate theory of marriage suggests that egalitarianism in practice and belief leads to higher marital quality for wives and higher levels of positive emotion work on the part of husbands. Our analysis of women's marital quality and men's marital emotion work provides little evidence in support of this theory. Rather, in examining women's marital quality and men's emotional investments in marriage, we find that dyadic commitment to institutional ideals about marriage and women's contentment with the division of household tasks are more critical. We also show that men's marital emotion work is a very important determinant of women's marital quality. We conclude by noting that her marriage is happiest when it combines elements of the new and old: that is, gender equity and normative commitment to the institution of marriage.
The new we know - I can be whatever I want to be and be a mother/wife. The old - I want to feel protected, secure, adored, raised up as the 'biblical' queen in your life... the old ideal is still vivid. As we can read in Ephesians 5.  Such a conclusion is due to our socio-christian heritage, whether modern women believe or not, this heritage has been embedded information given and passed on and continues to be passed on as what is to be expected and striven for.  The social imagination of family life is based on role relationships, males and females have distinct features both physical and emotional. Because of that, there are then expectations as to roles- who is best suited for what and why. Since, women are biologically designed/prepared for motherhood, it makes sense that they have babies and nurture them and that father too is involved but that his role is different and cannot be exactly the same. He is expected to lead, to protect and to be the head of the family. Of course, we can argue that the female can be both mother and father. She can bear children, raise them and protect them. But the question then is who protects her? Why would a man be expected or asked to protect her if she can do it all herself. We can argue that he would do it. However, to protect a strong woman would require a strong man, stronger than her in order that he can do the job. Otherwise, she might as well protect herself and him. Some say that is ok ... but what then is the man's role? He can't be the mother as he cannot bear children. Point being, men need a distinct role. They cannot be confronted with a partner that can do both roles, do his role and do it better. What is his role in the family? To be lost in the background, to be the 'same' sex / gender, to pretend to be a woman or be both? As a Christian, and a sociologist, I agree with Prof. Wilcox, marriage needs to be gendered and that has to be clear. It means that one person is designated to be one gender and the other person the opposite; which means that they have different roles and those roles are respected and applied in the household with continuity so that family stability ensues. As far as I can tell, we already have designated genders. So, why are we trying to re-create what already has been created as a best practice?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Follow Up to Agreement Reality Dictates

Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication and gender. Tim is the coauthor of  The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith  and  Authentic Communication: Christian Speech Engaging Culture. I really liked his approach to understanding diversity and differences in social 'imagination' reality.  Why? Because, it follows my previous post on agreement reality dictates. If you recall, I stated that in order for social reality to exist whatsoever, agreement between people's observations in terms of meaning need to be the same or similar in order for any individual and or group to be cohesive, sustainable and stable. This agreement usually occurs through experience of social interaction in a place. Since places differ across the country and globe, people have different social interaction in them and what it means to them in that place regarding survival especially. Though Prof. Muehlhoff did not talk about agreement reality, he did indirectly. His view on Christian communication is exactly based on the 'art' of finding neutral ground for what could be common among us regarding empathetic social interaction in order to achieve agreement when it comes to encountering differing aspects of different social realities.
Basically, it requires as Charles H. Cooley called the Looking Glass Self experience which was very similar to George H. Mead's Standing in Someone Else's Shoes experience.  We are assured that we don't have to be sympathetic but empathetic which means to understand that differences exist as this is what makes cultures diverse. We can also embrace this 'understanding' as what is common among us... even if and when we don't agree.