Tuesday, April 9, 2019

773~: The Lonely Crowd....

          Betty Friedan, who I presented in the previous lecture, and others showed that Western society had been changing since the war in a fundamental way. 
America was at the forefront of this, but the changes also took place in other countries, though things were somewhat different there. 
Before the war, anthropology was thanks to Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead the most appealing social science, certainly in the eyes of public. 
Now, however, the changes within Western societies had come to the attention of other social scientists, especially sociologists, psychologists and economists. 
The first of a series of influential studies was "The Lonely Crowd", published in 1950 by Harvard sociologist David Riesman (1909 - 2002).
In a paper by Annaliese Piraino from Indiana University of Pennsylvania I ran into this, and I quote:
" In 1969, David Riesman told his readers to visualize a different world –– a world in which  Americans are shallow, frivolous, insecure, immoral, and self-seeking.  This world, he said, was on its way." -end quote-
Looking at the present situation in the US, I couldn't stop myself of thinking, that there is some truth in his words with respect to the present administration.
How could David Riesman come to such a prediction? At that moment in 1969 it was speculative, but verified today.
"The Lonely Crowd" is, among other things, an attempt to link the psychology of the individual and that of the family with society as a whole. 
Said in a simplified way, it means that your personality is not the product of your talents and parental educational acts, 
but the result of the interaction between you and the society you live in, including your parents, of course.
His argument is two-fold. In the first place, he claims that societies in development are going through three phases of change that have to do with changes in the population. 
In old societies with a small, stable population, people are "tradition-oriented", do what your ancestors did and all is well. 
In the second phase, the population is increasing rapidly and the individuals are becoming 'inner-directed', which means not traditions but inner values become your guidelines. 
It is the beginning of individualism. You see this development for instance in Europe in the Renaissance.
In the third phase, the population stabilizes at a much higher level and the people are 'outer-directed'. 
It means, you don't want to be respected as a person, no, you want to be accepted, you want to be popular. 
In the second part of his argument he describes how the factors that make up the character change as these developments take place. 
In particular, he saw a decrease in the influence and authority of parents and family life, 
and an increase of the influence of mass media and peers, especially in the lives of young people.
And that is what David Riesman foresaw in 1950! And I now only can think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, vloggers and bloggers.
Were we so predicable for a sociologist of the 20th century?!
Thank you for your attention again.....

The Discussion

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and indeed most peoples goals today seem to be to get as many likes on FB as possible
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:20] herman Bergson: indeed Bejiita...it seems to mean something for a person
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but what does it realy mean?
[13:20] herman Bergson: it means that you are popular....
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): among who?...'friends"?
[13:21] herman Bergson: One point of attention
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depend on what it is, if a friend put a like on something i have written i feel that he have seen it and likes it but the issue is now many want the entire world to bombard u with likes, not just your friends and then im not sure
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then it all becimes well
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): likeomania
[13:21] herman Bergson: Riesman is talking about the AMERICAN character, personality....
[13:21] Dien (djdien.bailey) is offline.
[13:22] herman Bergson: Wanting to be populat in the US is a big thing....in Europe ....I have no idea...
[13:22] herman Bergson: popular
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): amazing stuff
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its more intense in US i think for sure
[13:23] herman Bergson: Maybe today it begins to play a role too
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the problem is it goes overboard
[13:23] CB Axel: If Europe went through the "inner-directed" phase during the Renaissance, did it not continue into the "outer-directed" phase?
[13:24] herman Bergson: Riesman only described the American character, CB...but you have point
[13:24] herman Bergson: I guess Europe did too, but not in the American way...
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): intertesting thought cb
[13:24] herman Bergson: YEs
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the influence of Calvijn?
[13:25] herman Bergson: Interesting point Beertje
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): People getting eaten by sharks or falling of cliffs while trying to chase FB likes on meaningless selfies is going overboard for sure
[13:26] CB Axel: Maybe it did during the Victorian Era (sorry. I know British history much better than European history).
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then u take popularity chasing to far
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but that is not new bej
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): look at mountain climbers
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ex
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and look back in history
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well mt everest and similar we hav indeed tried to do for very long
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and same reasons i think
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but with this selfie hysteria i think it escalated at least for a while
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes CB...can be a good example.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: In Victorian times people were outer-directed indeed....
[13:28] herman Bergson: They wnated to be "popular"...in a Victorian way indeed
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what was the Victorian way?
[13:29] CB Axel: And the rich had it good while the poor were treated like vermin.
[13:29] herman Bergson: Extreme "preutsheid"
[13:29] herman Bergson: for you Beertje :-)
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah :)
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles
[13:29] herman Bergson: Don't even know the english word for it :-))
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks of the Evita Peron
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): who used them too
[13:30] herman Bergson: prusishness
[13:30] herman Bergson: prudishness
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok
[13:30] herman Bergson: That too CB...a class socitety
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): extreme prudishness....
[13:31] CB Axel: Yes. The middle and upper classes were very concerned with doing things properly. They would be made outcasts if they didn't.
[13:32] CB Axel: I wonder if that's how Riesman saw this coming.
[13:32] herman Bergson: I havent read it in full yet, but this Annaliese Piraino wrote an article on Riesman's ideas and TV personalities and reality TV
[13:32] CB Axel: He saw it happen before.
[13:33] herman Bergson: YEs CB...he foresaw it really
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes it is not a new concept
[13:33] herman Bergson: Not as a seeer, but based on factual observations
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): has happened before in different ways
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): l'histoire se repete
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:34] herman Bergson: We'll see Beertje
[13:34] herman Bergson: For instance......
[13:34] herman Bergson: The new mayor of Chicago is a BLACK FEMALE LESBIAN
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes!
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I read about her
[13:35] herman Bergson: that is everything Americans of a  certain kind abhor...
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to say the least
[13:35] herman Bergson: ANd yet she won....
[13:35] herman Bergson: and you know what....
[13:35] herman Bergson: That is thanks to Trump
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Chicago needs someone like that
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): much as i liked Emmanuel he was not the best leader for Chicago
[13:36] CB Axel: I hope she can do something about the murder rate.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Chicago is not one place
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is many parts
[13:36] CB Axel: Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in the US.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): murder in one part
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes it is
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes...that is what I hope for too :-)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Chicago have always been related to murder and violence it seems
[13:37] herman Bergson: I wish she will make a difference
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes we will be watching
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is she able to do that?
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we can hope for the best
[13:37] herman Bergson: But what I wanted to say with this example.....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Riesman was right to some extend.....
[13:38] herman Bergson: but there is a social meganism that makes things bounce off....recoil....
[13:38] herman Bergson: a move to the real values
[13:39] herman Bergson: That is waht I see in this election
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): actually somewhat in the 18 elections too
[13:39] herman Bergson: To me it says...Americans aren't total idiots at all..only some are :-))
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some are
[13:40] CB Axel: Yes, but those people think we're the idiots. Who's right?
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): many good ones still left luckily
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know lolol
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are !!!!!!
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right!!!!
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that includes u Gemma
[13:40] herman Bergson: I watch a number of US news shows daily
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:41] herman Bergson: It is like a soap.....
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:41] herman Bergson: tho the sad thing is, it is really happening
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it ia
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sometimes i watch nonsense to get away from it
[13:42] herman Bergson: I am now waiting for NAdler's action
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): animal planet
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:42] herman Bergson: And I wonder how this Barr can defend and justify his coverup activities
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he wont be able to much longer
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lawyers from the panel are speaking out a bit
[13:43] herman Bergson: It is really exciting....how serious in reality thois might be tho
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but there are so many things going on right now
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all serious
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so indeed
[13:43] herman Bergson: But in terms of Riesman is Mr. T. the ultimate example of his prediction
[13:43] CB Axel: I'm putting my hope in the Southern District of New York and all the other places investigating Trump.
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well Nixon was too
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes, me too CB
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes cb
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:44] herman Bergson: yes...there are a lot of similarities
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): just hope something in the near future will hit the not so close followers of trumo
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): trump
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and cause them to move over
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fringe followers
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we need to turn this ship around before it sinks
[13:45] herman Bergson: That movemnet is already happening Gemma
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think so just dont want to go too far with hope
[13:46] herman Bergson: He always score a 33% on polls....
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he never went too higher
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what if he is president for the next 4 years?
[13:46] herman Bergson: but there was a question and all of a sudden he only got 29%
[13:46] CB Axel: I've heard 42%.
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well next two for sure
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): different polls show different
[13:47] herman Bergson: YEs....
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never over 45
[13:47] CB Axel: 656 days 6 hours and 11 minutes.
[13:47] herman Bergson: Riesman could write his "The Lonely Crowd" because of poll results...
[13:47] herman Bergson: Gallup had started polling in the 1930s...
[13:48] herman Bergson: So he had statistical data
[13:48] herman Bergson: And today it is common practice
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Quinnipiac does good polling too
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they even bears his name
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Gallup polls, Galup statistics
[13:50] herman Bergson: YEs..
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well, I am happy to notice that we could save America at least...:-)
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): next
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): England!!!
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what a mess!!!!!
[13:50] herman Bergson: Oh my goodness!
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh Gemma
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa save it from the Brexit chaos
[13:51] herman Bergson: Indeed what a mess
[[13:51] CB Axel: The UK makes me feel not so bad to be an American. :-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we need to stop that cement mixer as soon as possible
[13:51] herman Bergson: What has got into all these people in that parlement?
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before it gets even messier
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a bug
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Order!
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not sure i can program order into them however
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if it was that easy, not that code is easy, esp not a such mess
[13:52] herman Bergson: The worst thing is that all people who initiated this misery, like Johnson, Flanagan, and Cameron have left the stage
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i must run off
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fishing day
[13:52] herman Bergson: Ok Gemma..:-)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok
[13:53] herman Bergson: Save the fishes :-))
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Johnson want to come back
[13:53] CB Axel: Bye, Gemma.
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i have some more to check as well
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): check out the conference
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but we did well again i think
[13:53] herman Bergson: We did BEjiita :-))
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we did what we could for the moment
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): t
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] herman Bergson: right
[13:54] CB Axel: Don't forget Russia, Herman. I think they must have had something to do with making the idea of Brexit popular.
[13:54] herman Bergson: Yes, I heard those rumors
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Putin probably have bribed or threaten someone with his nukes as usual
[13:54] herman Bergson: They want to destabilize Europe whatsoever
[13:55] CB Axel: Right
[13:55] herman Bergson: Maybe Russians are blackmailing members of parlement in the UK :-))
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i dont want a ww3 esp not a nuclear one
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if that is their goal
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they are creepy
[13:56] herman Bergson: That is still a door too far Bejiita
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i surely hope it is
[13:56] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Russia is jealous of what we have
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well might be an explanation
[13:56] herman Bergson: Dont forget that Russia and China are also very dependent of Western knowledge and technology
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully it stays with that
[13:56] CB Axel: I don't think they want nuclear war. They just want the world's resources.
[13:57] herman Bergson: Yes
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they want something for sure
[13:57] herman Bergson: It is always about resources
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they can let their cars drive on wodka
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahah
[13:57] herman Bergson whispers: what a waste, Beertje!
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i don't mean GOOD wodka
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)))
[13:58] CB Axel: lol
[13:58] herman Bergson: ok
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): pfew
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well u can run an engine with ethanol so, the issue however is ethanol seem to eat seals and stuff in the engine so it have not gained popularity cause of that, basically the engines wear down
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for some reason
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or they just use wrong materials
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well well
[13:59] herman Bergson: Well, my friends....time to dismiss class :-)
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[14:00] herman Bergson: thank you all again ^_^
[14:00] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): been an interesting hour as usual
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time all
[14:00] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:))
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[14:00] herman Bergson: Thank you Bejiita
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[14:00] CB Axel: See you all next week.
[14:00] herman Bergson: See you CB
[14:00] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten CB

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