Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Incompatibility in the Social Imagination

When we experience cognitive dissonance we are really experiencing an incompatibility of information. Whenever an individual behaves in a way that contradict an existing attitude creating a feeling of discomfort. As dissonance means a lack of harmony and or agreement. Now, there is yet another version which says cognitive dissonance happens to the individual as a matter of experiencing distance from one's 'affirmed principles and while knowing that still somehow able to experience a behavior which is not of their affirmed attitude toward that behavior. Essentially, this is the experience of incompatible information. One kind is in storage and the other executed.

The illustration for this would be if a person declares that they are anti-abortion and in an unplanned event find themselves driving their friend to the doctor only to discover that this friends is going to have an abortion. Or, after having declared that one is a Christian, find themselves in a situation whereby they are inadvertently supporting a secular decision to prohibit any Christian symbols in public. The awareness of this disjunction in oneself in one's consciousness causes the feeling of being cognitive dissonant or what I prefer to call incompatibility of affirmed as in 'saved' data appearing true in conflict with non-affirmed as in 'incompatible' data appearing corrupt.

A person can declare that they tolerate others, but they can find themselves in a situation in which they appear not to tolerate; reflecting an event or phenomena of incompatibility of information occurring in the social imagination. This naturally occurring social imagination event belongs to everyone (as in experienced by) whether they are a minority or majority group member. It is an experience of incompatible data. This is not because of their own choice (as in 'on/for purpose') but largely due to different embedded programs acquired through shared data (socialization) often complicated by unforeseen circumstances of place. Therefore, cognitive dissonance arises through social interaction of competing data in a place due to the configuring of socially embedded information engaged dynamically in that place resulting in unexpected and or residual outcomes.

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