Saturday, October 29, 2005

Daily Kos On George Lakoff

Like every other blue state liberal, I began reading George Lakoff's works about a year ago. His idea is that all social policy boils down to a sort of family model, and that conservatives and liberals have very different ideas of what a healthy family looks like, with conservatives embracing the "tough daddy in charge" model while liberals dig the "nurturant co-parenting" model.

Unlike most liberals, I think Lakoff is important but not persuasive. I find his assumptions to be arrogant in that way that conservatives often accuse liberals of being arrogant, and this time I agree with them.

So anyway, I keep reading other liberal critique of Lakoff, and I found this today:

I read it quickly but I find it interesting, and recommend it to those of you who may feel that "Don't Think of An Elephant" provides the ultimate blueprint for liberal political success in the next elections.


Blogger fmodo said...

Well said.
As a RINO married to a true-blue Massachusetts liberal, I often notice liberal benign condescension when my wife does not.

As I noted in this post, I agree with Camille Paglia in thinking many recent theorists have interesting points but in the end are way off the mark when trying to make sociological arguements about voting patterns--and this from a psychiatrist who puts more stock in psychodynamics and the unconscious than most do these days.

Blogger Paul Wilczynski said...

I don't think Lakoff 's says that liberals are all in favor of the "nurturant parent" model. Except for people who have actually read the book, people aren't "in favor" of one model or the other. He's defining a model or a framework where things aren't as black and white as his definitions might make people think.

He says there are a lot of exceptions on both sides, but that liberals have a general tendency to display many of the traits of the fuzzy side, and conservatives have a general tendency to display many of the traits of the stern side.

Blogger Kim said...

I think you have completely misunderstood what Lakoff is saying. Unfortunately, I think many, if not most, have likewise misunderstood his concepts and definitions.
He is not prescribing, but describing, what the structure of people's world views are.
Also, you, like many others, and, like the Neo-con word-smiths wanted you to, have confounded "permissive" with "nurturant". Permissive is a different system than Nurturant. You claim that strict is what offers explainations and consequences -- and that's exactly wrong. Strict Father offers punishment not consequences, and authority not explanations. Nurturant parent offers REASONS for orders rather than "because I said so". There is still discipline in the Nurturant system, it's just based on reality rather than authority.


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