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DR1 - Orienting Concepts

Having an ethnocentric perspective means that your judgements are based


off the assumption that your cultural values are the correct ones, and that the
cultural values of others are wrong. It is the arrogant belief that because it is
different, it must be wrong. This type of assumption prevents the capacity to
understand another culture because it disregards the acknowledgement that other
cultural values come from a different background which may be justified through
criteria not considered by your own.
The text references the origins of the word barbarian, coming from Greeks
hearing foreign languages and dismissing them as rude and uncivilized. They made
those assumptions based on the belief that their concept of civilization is the right
one, allowing them to regard them as being uncivilized because they dont have
cities. Instead of focusing on the fact that their ways were different than theirs, they
needed to try and understand why the differences are there. Being able to
understand another culture allows the viewer to compare and contrast them,
without the base assumption that one has to be better than the other. Without
having to choose one, you can consider alternative ways. This is why separating
value judgements from explanations is important. There can be no meaningful
changes in the social sciences without being able to consider that there are ways
other than one that you are most familiar with. It requires adaptability in order to
face any future or current issues, and the way to prepare is by using cultural
diversity to create new solutions. How many of todays issues are prevented from
being solved because there is no diversity in the approach? And how many changes
can really be made without most or everyone having the same understanding of
most other cultures?

DR6 - Development of Close Relationships


In Eriksons theory of development, conflict is used as a basis for developing
ones identity. Each stage provides two outcomes to the conflict, one positive and
one negative. These conflicts are inevitable, and as a result, are not to be ignored.
Instead they are to be faced head on, with the belief that failing to confront each
conflict, will result in a failure in development of individual identity.
The Navajo theory of development, provides substantially less conflict. The
Navajo stages of development focus more on developing skills through learning
from society. It is far more involved in the social structure, and each stage does not
feature arbitrary good/bad outcomes. Instead of conflict to develop individual
identity, an individuals identity is developed from knowledge and understanding of
themselves and society.
In Rothbaums theory of close relationships, emphasis is given on how and
where conflict is used, compared between the US and Japan. At one point, he
mentions how during infancy, US children are more oppositional, or noncompliant.
In the US, this is seen as a milestone in developing individualization, where

asserting ones preferences is used in developing negotiation skills. The US believes


conflict is essential to obtaining the capacity for close relationships. Japanese
parents, on the other hand, teach their children the importance of conformity, and
believe that development results in the desire to accommodate others. The
difference approaches to conflict are also seen in how parents react to an infants
noncompliant behavior. US parents are more likely to be confrontational against it,
through contests of will. In Japan, parents use more indirect methods, such as
appealing to the childs emotions and desires. They believe that if the child does not
understand and accept complacency in social rules, the rules cannot be enforced
and lose their value.
While I do believe that conflict plays an important role in developing any kind
of relationship, I wonder if conformity is just as important. In any sort of
interpersonal relationship does there have to be a balance of conforming to others
expectations and conflict where an individuals identity is defined.?

DR12 - Intelligence and how to get it


One of the key ideas that both Nisbett and Gardner use in their theories of
intelligence is that, in a broad definition, intelligence is the capacity to understand.
Gardner builds off this concept and created criteria to figure out what intelligences
are present in each person, ultimately finding seven. The seven intelligences are all
present to varying degrees, and any sophisticated adult role will utilize several of
them. Nisbett, however, goes into figuring out general intelligence. He says that
there are two components to general intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized
intelligence. Nisbett focuses mainly on the IQ test, and concludes that it does not
measure intelligences other than analytical. The other intelligences, such as
practical and creative, may be equally useful in predicting academic and
occupational success.
In terms of cultivating intelligence, Gardner doesnt seem to believe the
intelligences he outlines can be changed. It is more of a natural aptitude for the
intelligences. Gardner points out that an individual that does not need to possess
one significantly greater intelligence. Instead, an individual should find where a
blend of several of their intelligences works well, and recommends that these
combinations be assessed to find where that may be.
Nisbett also talks about the effect motivational factors have on predicting
achievement. He suggests that strong discipline may be a better predictor than IQ.
This is something I personally agree with, because I believe that hard work and
good motivation is what really leads to achievement. Any of the intelligences that
Nisbett and Gardner describe would be useless without motivation. This makes me
question why we have such a narrow view of what people can achieve. We place
such a high value on things like grades and IQ tests, simply for the supposed reason
that they have a high correlation to success in life. It seems to me like these things
we place in such high regard only cause stress and anxiety about the future.

Students worry that they are just not smart enough to achieve, that they are
fundamentally lacking. How much of an effect does this really make on society?