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.