dunnettreader + culture-american   6

Noah Millman - Was Origen the Caitlyn Jenner of the Transabled? | The American Conservative - June 2015
I’m afraid I’m going to re-enter the fray. Rod Dreher has a piece today wondering whether the next step in our cultural development (or decline) will be the… Another superb piece by Millman illustrating how Dreher's hostility to changing cultural norms gets wrapped in a blanket condemnation of "modernity" (and liberalism, individualism, autonomy, and generally Enlightenment values) yet Dreher is committed to Enlightenment benefits of increased knowledge, and insists on liberalism's commitment to personal religious liberty. So it basically comes down to liberty for me but not for thee, with the Church authority for norm-setting both impervious to scientific and cultural change, and claiming an extension over those who don't recognize the Chyrch's authority. The example of Origen, whose spiritual commitment led to self-castration, and who wasn't condemned by the senior hierarchy (prior to the Church legislating on a range of norms dealing with the body and especially sexuality and gender, which was one reason Origen was never made a saint). Millman also has a lengthy passage from Tolstoy about a priest, sexual tension, spiritual demands and self-mutilation, with Tolstoy's final conclusion that this sort of psychological turmoil wasn’t the praiseworthy attitudes and action of a saint but self-absorbed cintra Christ's teaching. Tl; dr -- Dreher can't have it both ways (or in his case what seems like an ever-growing laundry list of contradictory ways). -- saved to Instapaper
Instapaper  sexuality  gender  gender-and-religion  norms  Early_Christian  theology  declinism  modernity  liberalism  Orthodox_Christianity  authority  individualism  autonomy  culture_wars  culture-American  cultural_change  cultural_authority  psychology  identity  biology  physiology  neuroscience  Tolstoy  religious_experience  religious_culture  religion-established  civil_liberties  bill_of_rights  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Michael Hout, Claude S. Fischer - Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987-2012 | Sociological Science, October 13, 2014
Twenty percent of American adults claimed no religious preference in 2012, compared to 7 percent twenty-five years earlier. Previous research identified a political backlash against the religious right and generational change as major factors in explaining the trend. That research found that religious beliefs had not changed, ruling out secularization as a cause. In this paper we employ new data and more powerful analytical tools to: (1) update the time series, (2) present further evidence of correlations between political backlash, generational succession, and religious identification, (3) show how valuing personal autonomy generally and autonomy in the sphere of sex and drugs specifically explain generational differences, and (4) use GSS panel data to show that the causal direction in the rise of the “Nones” likely runs from political identity as a liberal or conservative to religious identity, reversing a long-standing convention in social science research. Our new analysis joins the threads of earlier explanations into a general account of how political conflict over cultural issues spurred an increase in non-affiliation.
paper  US_history  US_politics  US_society  secularization  religious_belief  religious_culture  20thC  21stC  culture-American  culture_wars  cultural_change  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Jesse R. Harrington and Michele J. Gelfand - Tightness–looseness across the 50 united states | PNAS | Mobile
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD -- This research demonstrates wide variation in tightness–looseness (the strength of punishment and degree of latitude/permissiveness) at the state level in the United States, as well as its association with a variety of ecological and historical factors, psychological characteristics, and state-level outcomes. Consistent with theory and past research, ecological and man-made threats—such as a higher incidence of natural disasters, greater disease prevalence, fewer natural resources, and greater degree of external threat—predicted increased tightness at the state level. Tightness is also associated with higher trait conscientiousness and lower trait openness, as well as a wide array of outcomes at the state level. Compared with loose states, tight states have higher levels of social stability, including lowered drug and alcohol use, lower rates of homelessness, and lower social disorganization. However, tight states also have higher incarceration rates, greater discrimination and inequality, lower creativity, and lower happiness relative to loose states. In all, tightness–looseness provides a parsimonious explanation of the wide variation we see across the 50 states of the United States of America. -- downloaded pdf to Note
culture  culture-American  norms  inequality  discrimination  US_politics  conservatism  liberalism  crime  punishment  deviance  tolerance  social_order  ecology  social_psychology  US_society  creativity  Innovation  happiness  hierarchy  culture_wars  culture-tightness  culture-looseness  prisons  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Other People's Pathologies - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
Chait endorses a blunter approach: "The circa-2008 Ta-Nehisi Coates was neither irresponsible nor immoral. Rather, he had grown up around cultural norms that inhibited economic success. People are the products of their environment. Environments are amenable to public policy. Some of the most successful anti-poverty initiatives, like the Harlem Children’s Zone or the KIPP schools, are designed around the premise that children raised in concentrated poverty need to be taught middle class norms." No, they need to be taught that all norms are not transferable into all worlds. In my case, physical assertiveness might save you on the street but not beyond it. At the same time, other values are transferrable and highly useful. The "cultural norms" of my community also asserted that much of what my country believes about itself is a lie. In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and Malcolm X, it was my responsibility to live, prosper, and attack the lie. Those values saved me on the street, and they sustain me in this present moment. People who take a strict binary view of culture ("culture of privilege = awesome; culture of poverty = fail") are afflicted by the provincialism of privilege and thus vastly underestimate the dynamism of the greater world. They extoll "middle-class values" to the ignorance and exclusion of all others. To understand, you must imagine what it means to confront algebra in the morning and "Shorty, can I see your bike?" in the afternoon. It's very nice to talk about "middle-class values" when that describes your small, limited world. But when your grandmother lives in one hood and your coworkers live another, you generally need something more than "middle-class values." You need to be bilingual.
US_history  slavery  cultural_capital  culture-American  poverty  cities  middle_class  US_Civil_War  Jim_Crow  racism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader

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