Social Science in a Conservative Society

Here is an interesting story on the prevalence (in Canada anyway) of Machiavellian bullying.

Which spawns the story of the relationship of soc to psych.

Psych announces that it has found an interesting, dominant human trait–stuck, psych claims, in human genetic code by adaptive evolution…Because that’s the hokum schtick that passes for a legitimate explanatory theory in the psych community–despite its complete and utter debunking 40 years ago by genetic biologists. This sorry ontology is perpetuated relentlessly because the community of scholars in psych, as in all worst-case physical and especially social science, has social counter-incentives to building more valid theory (a la Kuhn’s model of science).

What to do about this widespread (social) problem, Psych? 
Ah. Parent better, somehow!

And then Soc, allowing that the finding is pretty interesting, notices that all the alleged invariance is coming from cities in the US, Canada and England, and redoes the research in Sweden, Cuba or South India and figures out that the purported psych “trait” is the result of socialization specific to certain kinds of–for example, high-inequality–societies. Soc thereby politely suggests that to actually address this social (not genetic, not mothering) problem we actively oppose the entire scaffolding of inequality policies and institutions and replace them with a scaffolding of low-inequality policies and institutions, as per the societies with a lower incidence of the problem.

And then everybody ignores the Soc, and goes out and buys another psych mothering self-help book, to zero avail.

And then the beleaguered parents turn to the conservative snake-oil salesmen selling this enterprising gambit: Simply by ridding ourselves of public education we will rid ourselves of the demonic teachers who fail to raise our children for us correctly.

And in this way everybody stays paid, for a while, but increasingly poorly.


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