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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

vMEMES’

Breaking-Up Britain needs a National MeshWORK

It’s to be seriously hoped that Theresa May doesn’t get the landslide victory on 8 June that was initially predicted – and which she clearly aimed for in calling a snap general election on 18 April. As discussed in 8 June: Time for a Change!, she clearly thought she would be able to crush a weak and ineffectual opposition. To her chagrin though, Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran speaker at  public rallies, has proved a robust and highly effective on-the-stump campaigner. Although greatly under-reported in the largely right-wing dominated mainstream media, he has consistently pulled crowds in their thousands to his campaign events. In spite of the under-reporting, there has been enough grassroots and social media activity to get at least some wider attention to them. In comparison Mays’ carefully stage-managed appearances before mere handfuls of Tory activists would have seemed pitiful if not for ‘doctoring’ of the photos to make the audience seem that much larger. (See the examples below.) Slowly but surely Labour have closed the gap on the Tories in the opinion polls. Whether they can close it enough by 8 June – assuming, of course, that the polls are reasonably accurate –  is a different matter. The third factor in all of this is… Read More

8 June: Time for a Change!

Theresa May’s decision to hold a snap general election on 8 June is being widely seen as an attempt to further weaken – if not outrightly dismantle – a crisis-ridden and ineffectual Labour opposition and to gain a much larger Tory majority in the House of Commons. It was also quite explicit in her 18 April speech announcing the election – see the newsfeed video clip below – that she wants that increased majority so she can eliminate any opposition in Parliament to pushing through her version of Brexit.   May named the House of Lords, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Nationalists as being the ‘enemy’. In a sense it was a little duplicitous for her to include Labour in quite the way she did. Jeremy Corbyn has been reported – eg: The Independent’s Rob Merrick – as saying Labour would vote against a final Brexit deal it didn’t approve of and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer – as reported by The Guardian’s Rowena Mason & Anushka Asthana – has proposed  that the UK could still participate in various EU structures and agencies post-Brexit. However, in general Corbyn has been broadly supportive of May’s Brexit tactics so far. He… Read More

2005

Busy, Quiet Jan: My article, The SME Spiral, published in Quality World, the monthly journal of the Institute of Quality Assurance. Article distributed directly to its membership by London Excellence. Jan-Feb: Contributed 2-hour brief introductory sessions on Integrated SocioPsychology to the inaugural meetings of Hull’s 7 Community Development Workers Networks. Commentary: These area networks were Hull City Council Regeneration Services’ response to Government pressure to develop means of collecting more feedback and facilitating more collaboration from workers involved in various initiatives at the ‘sharp end’ of social regeneration work. Kate Bowers, one of the Hull area directors, saw my presentation on Integrated SocioPsychology as a lure to get community development workers from various agencies along to the meetings. With several of the network meetings oversubscribed, Kate was proved right! Feb: Invited at short notice to contribute to ‘How can we think better’ feature on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show but unable to take part due to teaching commitments. Mar: Christopher Sumner, one of my Psychology A-Level students at Vermuyden, was notified of a ‘perfect A’ (100%) in his January exam module (AQA ‘A’ PYA4). Commentary: A ‘perfect A’ meant Chris hadn’t dropped a single point over 2 questions in an… Read More

2001

Humberside MeshWORK… Jan: Carried out major piece of therapy, using Penny Parks’ Mistaken Belief Visualisation (1994) to facilitate the healthy development of vMEMES. Commentary: The story of ‘Susan’ is told in the Services Case Studies section. Jan: Returned to teaching part-time (as supply) – encouraged by teachers from St Mary’s College who felt it was important I had front-line classroom experience if I was to introduce the Gravesian approach and related Change Management methodologies into local Education. Commentary: I had quit teaching 22 years previously and never thought I would go back to it. However, with business not exactly flooding in and wanting to further my understanding of the Gravesian approach as applied in the classroom, it seemed like a good option…for the short term! (From the research angle, the result was A Downward Spiral… in the Education pages.) Jan-Feb: Assisted Afton Court Retirement Home (Bridlington) recruit a new manager. Jan-Feb: Facilitated strategic planning sessions with the Garths Board of Directors. Consequently asked to become a Director myself; agreed to become an ‘Expert Advisor’ to the Board on a voluntary basis. Commentary: I turned down directorship on the grounds of potential conflict of interest. (I wanted to sell my services to the Garths.)… Read More

1998

The Making of a ‘Change Engineer’… Feb: Persuaded Business Link Wakefield & District and Wakefield College that the Management Development Forum agenda and resources should be incorporated within the Business Growth Forum. Commentary: This was the beginning of a new alliance at operational level between the two agencies and a key factor in the development of the BGF. Mar: The Business Growth Forum profile raised considerably by hosting joint workshop on Kaizen with RHP Bearings (Knottingley, West Yorks). Commentary: The first fruits of the new alliance with the College, Kaizen concepts were a major revelation to many Members of the BGF! Mar: Undertook training in Spiral Dynamics – SD Practitioner 1 Module – with the model’s developers, Don Beck & Christopher Cowan. Commentary: The training with Beck & Cowan was undoubtedly a major turning point in my life. Not only did Spiral Dynamics – and the work of Clare W Graves approach on which it was based – bring a sense of unifying coherence to the bits and pieces of Psychology I had studied from time to time over the years, but understanding of the model gave me a great sense of personal release – freeing me from burdensome and unrealistic expectations.… Read More

1988-1996

The Bridge Years Oct 88: Due to a misunderstanding with the embryonic Bridge training & consultancy operation who headhunted me, left Hellmann Mitchell Cotts 3 months before Bridge had the financial structures in place to afford me! So used my experience as a buyer and my knowledge of purchasing systems to secure work as a freelance administration consultant with Bradford-based Stylus Graphics Ltd (formerly one of my suppliers at Hellmann) and ICM Ltd in Leeds. Feb 89: Joined Bridge, based in Bradford. Wrote their library of training courses. These courses were very successful – and, apart from minor updates, they remained unchanged for over 5 years. (This in spite of considered reviews.) An attempt by other people in the Bridge organisation in 1994 to modularise the courses against units of the Management NVQs was abandoned because it was felt the project would end up altering the integral nature of the courses too much. Also undertook ‘hands on’ training – delivering a range of management, sales and communication skills – both to specific clients and via open seminars. This period included providing training to the sales force of Vileda, one of Britain’s most prestigious names in FMCG household goods – the UK division of a multi-national. During… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #4

PART 4 Stratified Democracy Stratified Democracy, as defined by Don Beck (2000b), shifts the focus from economic development to cultural mindsets, with the understanding that the prime area for ‘development’ is sociopsychological rather than economic or fiscal. The aim of ‘development’ in this paradigm is not to become a consumeristic society along the lines of the Western model – though that may well be what some developing countries eventually become. The aim is for the country to be ‘healthy’ in itself – ie: the sociopsychological well-being of the peoples and the inter-relations between the different internal groupings of whatever type – and to have ‘healthy’ relations with other countries of whatever type. Achieving these healthy states at whatever level a country is at facilitates it moving on to whatever is next on the Spiral. In terms of governance, Stratified Democracy proposes that a core element of Democracy – representative government – be implemented in such as way as to fit with the values and norms – the culture – of the people to be governed. In 4Q/8L terms, this means constructing the Lower Right (the form of government) to match the Lower Left (culture of the people to be governed).As Elza Maalouf (2014,… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #3

PART 3 World Systems Theory If Dependency Theory is an incomplete critique of Modernisation Theory, Wallerstein provides a more complete model with World Systems Theory which was developed specifically as a response to criticisms of Dependency Theory and an extension of Frank’s ideas. It is based on 4 underlying principles :- Individual countries or nation-states are not an adequate unit of sociological analysis. Wallerstein held that the focus must be on the overall social system that transcends national boundaries – as it has done for centuries – and not on the concept of nation-state exploiting nation-state, as per Frank. Capitalism has created the world order or ‘modern world system’ (MWS) because capital has always ignored national borders in its search for profit. Dominated by the logic of profit and the market, the MWS forms one unified system. Wallerstein builds upon Dependency Theory by proposing that the MWS is characterised by an economic division of labour made up of a structured set of relations between 3 types of Capitalist zone:- (i) the ‘core’ – the developed countries which control world trade and monopolise the production of manufactured goods (ii) the ‘semi-periphery’ – countries like Brazil and South Africa which have urban centres… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #2

PART 2 Slavery and colonialism – the origins of Dependency As a Marxist, Frank has no hesitation in rooting dependency in the twin ‘evils’ of colonialism and Capitalism. Between 1650 and 1900 European powers, with Britain in the lead, used their superior naval and military technology to conquer and colonise many parts of the world. Paul Harrison (1990) argues that the principal result of the European empires was the creation of a global economy on European terms and the beginnings of the world capitalist system…. Colonies were primarily exploited for their cheap food, raw materials and labour – eg; Britain’s virtual monopoly over cotton benefited expansion of the Lancashire and Yorkshire textile industries. It’s worth noting that cheap labour also included slavery. From 1650 to 1850 some 9 million Africans (between the ages of 15 and 35) were shipped across the Atlantic to work as slaves on cotton, sugar and tobacco plantations in America and the West Indies, owned mainly by British settlers. The British slave-traders and the plantation owners made huge profits. The most fertile land was appropriated for growing ‘cash crops’ for export to the West. New markets in the colonies were created for manufactured goods from the industrial… Read More

Suicide? #2

  PART 2 The social construction of suicide Scientific and quantitative methods are completely rejected by some Phenomenologists. J Maxwell Atkinson (1978) does not accept that a ‘real’ rate of suicide exists as an objective reality waiting to be discovered. According to Atkinson, behavioural scientists who proceed with this assumption will end up producing ‘facts’ on suicide that have nothing to do with the social reality they seek to understand. By constructing a set of criteria to categorise and measure suicide – in scientific language, by operationalising the concept of suicide – they will merely be imposing their ‘reality’ on the social world. This will inevitably distort that world. As Michael Phillipson (1972) observes, the positivistic methodology employed by Durkheim and other researchers “rides roughshod over the very social reality they are trying to comprehend”. Suicide is a construct of social actors, an aspect of social reality. Official statistics on suicide, therefore, are not ‘wrong’, ‘mistaken’, ‘inaccurate’ or ‘in error’. They are part of the social world. They are the interpretations, made by officials, of what is seen to be unnatural death. Since, Phillipson argues, the object of Sociology is to comprehend the social world, that world can only be understood… Read More