I really had a tough time getting into this text.  There were bits that felt so scattered o me and in the chapter conclusions I didn’t see where he pulled his theory together.  In general I understand that there evolution of how important social connectivity is in humans, his use of others theories and the original research of his team did kind of reinforce his premise.   In my understanding of human interaction social connectivity is kind of obvious.

In the Back to School section (p. 250) He states that “The government interest in consumerism is largely a Ponzi scheme” This criticism of the use of consumerism is then followed up by “we are happier, healthier and better citizens” (p. 250) My contention is that the consumer culture (especially in the US) utilizes out inherent need to connect socially to hawk products. In Allison Pugh’s “Longing and Belonging- parents, children and consumer culture” She delves into the issue of commodification which Lieberman touches on. She explores how consumer culture is intrinsically linked to psychological needs (especially of children) and how that industry exploits the secondary reinforcers that Lieberman talks about. The idea of maintaining dignity is paramount in the Pugh text and drives the need for commodities.“…The most basic sense of children’s participation in their social world.” (p7 Pugh)”

Along the same lines as Lieberman’s theory of social connectivity the economy of dignity for Pugh is “The system by which children make themselves audible and therefore present , therefore mattering to their peers.”( P 51 Pugh)

The economy of dignity as defined by Pugh is liking a material good to a psychological need that is viewed as essential for social citizenship and a sense of basic inclusion among peers. This theory wasn’t fleshed out as well in the Lieberman text.

Although I enjoyed Lieberman’s break down of experiments, I wanted more than just his anecdotal comparisons. perhaps I feel more accustomed to the segmented mode of discussing Neuroscience from Demasio. I needed a more hypothesis like layout of the text.

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2 Responses to Lieberman…ehhh

  1. I like your comparison to Pugh. It’s making me think about the connections to money and materialism that Lieberman seems to argue are less valuable. In the case of Pugh’s work, I think he would discuss how the children and parents feel towards one another when “economy of dignity” is satisfied, as well as how our brains are affected by how we think others view our have/have not selves. Now that I am fleshing it out (mostly in my head), I think these two pieces could work well together.

  2. Dagmara Lachowicz says:

    Yes Lieberman’ text deals predominantly with “here and now” . He ventures in to the neuroscience field to prove his point , however those who tend to have more of a peripheral vision it might be a hard read . The social self , how our brains are wired to crave praise and attention explained couple of things to me that I haven’t looked at before . To be precise , neuronal connections , size of the emotional centers in the brain “amygdala’ most of all if not treated with care in the developmental stages can have devastating effects on a developing self . Resulting in poor people skills and complete disenfranchisement from society as whole. Overall , my rating would be 2,5 stars on a rating scale .

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