Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Student reacts to ideologies

Here is a student reaction paper:

My reaction paper will be about the group exercise we recently did in Social Welfare & Policy Services class. It was quite interesting to me because it gave me an inside look on politics and how people make emotional decisions about any policy, or how they go back and forth trying to find great reasons to support the policies they like, or why it might be a bad idea if they don’t like it.
The class was broken up into groups and given each a card to decide what role we will be playing in the group. One of my group members had to come up with a social welfare policy. We decided to make a policy in where substance abusers were able to receive health care without having to wait. Another member had to play the role of an authoritative father figure that is in favor of the new policy and have their reasons. My fellow classmate stated “It isn’t their fault, being a substance abuser is an illness”. Another person in the group had to role-play a person opposed to the policy using the authoritative father figure model, and that was my role.  I said that I was not in favor simply because substance abusers know what they are doing, and they know drugs are bad, so if they have decided to break the law and do something wrong like use drugs, why should we bother help them, and if they keep doing the same mistake over and over they clearly lack wisdom or self-discipline, and that is their fault, not ours. If we help them, we may allow them to persist in their perverse abuse of drugs. The last person was to demonstrate the nurturing parenting style in which she claimed that we are all equal, and if being addicted to a drug is an illness, than those with such an illness deserve to be helped as others are helped when they are sick. This was an equality ethic argument.
            Both of these ideologies of strict father and nurturing parenting styles come from George Lakoff, he uses these metaphors for politics.  He explains that the strict disciplinarian father figure metaphor parallels conservative ideology. While the nurturing empathetic collaborative parents’ metaphor parallels progressive ideology. He explains the way politics have a moral base, but each ideology frames the message of morality differently. The strict father holds the discipline and morality in which if you’re not disciplined, you can’t be moral, in which case you deserve to be in poverty. Meanwhile the nurturing side is more empathetic and shows social responsibility.
            This exercise showed me a better visual way of how politics work, and it’s much more clear now why they (conservatives and liberals) question all the if’s and but’s to every policy thrown out there. And it’s understandable because every person is different and they think differently, so they might agree or disagree. It’s all about the pros and cons to every situation, and how you identify pros and cons based upon the moral framework you use and the preferential biases you have in the metaphorical narratives you use to interpret the world. If this information was thrown at me through a book or slide in class, I wouldn’t have understood it as much as I do now, because through the exercise I put myself in every shoe, and I thought to myself the same thing, “why should we help substance abusers if they don’t even care about themselves, then why should we?” But then, that’s thinking selfishly. And then the nurturing part comes out and tells you, “of course we should help them; if they were part of your family you would want someone to help them too.” Plus, they’re human and everyone deserves a second chance to achieve something better their lives.  It must be difficult to decide, because both of these moral perspective can be true, but at least I have an idea how the system works.


Strict Father And Nurturant Parenting Styles: Metaphors For Political Ideologies with George Lakoff, Ph.D. | New Dimensions Radio. (2015, February 18). Retrieved March 11, 2016, from http://newdimensions.org/strict-father-and-nurturant-parenting-styles-metaphors-for-political-ideologies-with-george-lakoff/

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