Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Passing the Buck ~ Laying Blame in the Social Imagination!

Passing the buck could be a wise thing to do if it justifies the end... Right? 

Speaking as a sociologist, passing the buck or laying blame as in finding a scapegoat to take on the 'sin' or guilt/fault is not new to society. In order to save ourselves (you/me  - the individual) from blame we begin by taking sides based on who is who among us and who has been slacking off or not doing their part so that if any blame comes our way it appears to have been a result of some other person's action. But even before that, we as individuals members of society establish ourselves in a group. 

We as social creatures like to get into groups so that when the blame falls it does not directly fall on us but onto the group and in that group we can thus feel more secure about the future our future. At our very heart, our deep down inner being, which was formed through social interaction, we know that people say and do things which protect their position/status and security and can even guarantee our prosperity.  

And, in that we find our justification for being in a group and siding with others in the group. Now, there is a social dynamic to passing the buck within the group that can be worth it or not. Its easier to pass the buck to someone outside of our group who casually stepped in and out. Thus, passing the buck is largely justified by all in the group in that respect/situation. 

A recent study if you can call it that regarding passing the buck attempted to show that when the group of respondents who knew each other as they were all 'co-workers' in an office were shown as in demonstrated positive ways to not blame as in pass the buck. So, when they were given situations as exercises the did not pass the buck so to speak but applied what they learned in the demonstration. 

Yes, they were less likely to pass the buck Why? Because, they were in a familiar group and aware of the group dynamics. They within their own group applied the laws of governing dynamics and contemplated best ways to get advantages out of not passing the buck and also they were less likely to simply because they were within their own group and given the safety of the controlled 'pass the buck' scenario felt no threat of being blamed and had no real reason to feel at fault of  guilty at the time of the exercise of passing the buck.

What is observed more often in studies is that when any group is under threat they will pass the buck to another group. Now, if someone in the group is failing in one way or another, or not on board with the common dynamic of the group then the group will feel under threat by one of their own and in agreement will mob that one who is causing the threat. An issue will be made against that one and he or she will be blamed for something and ostracized from the group in order to protect the group.  

Justified that its not passing the buck for any reason but for purpose of pointing out that someone is not willing to get along or conform and thus is not really part of the group. Passing the buck is not taking the blame for one's action in order to maintain self image in the group; and therefore, even in the process of routing out the one undesirable in the group another maybe used to do it since the top must remain clean as in unmarred and again the passing of the buck is justified as the end result is what was desired, right?

No comments :

Post a Comment