May 11

After reading an in-depth critique by Edward Seidman on the errors of conceptualization, I couldn’t help but agree with re-framing all the premises involved in traditional research problems. We need to learn that there is always an alternative to consider, not just for the social science in the justice department but in our health, education, welfare, and other systems.

The problem with our society is that we get too caught up with repeatable, institutionalized theories and ideas that we become completely dependent on it, much like what Maruyama has called monopolarization. How can we train our society to consider other alternative thinking patterns? Why must we always ‘victim-blame’ or label people with an implicit, automatic response trained in the first-order conceptualization process?

We always seem to look away from the individual and stress more on the social system, this view is especially popular through the perspective of officials, authority, managers, etc. The officialdom determinants are a great example of facilitating an error of conceptualization. The institutionalized way that most agencies reputably handle their relationships is by attributing responsibility to individuals.

A second-order solution is simply just out of the question, it requires change, different relationships, and goes against the typical vertical-hierarchical decision-making process. This takes me to another topic about horizontal organizational structure as an aid to help minimize the powerful over the powerless mentality. Of course this is restrained due to a high value of dominance in our society, but it decreases power and everyone works together to make decisions. It changes the mentality to the ‘treater’ and the ‘treated’ and less emphasis is placed in the individual as being the source of the problem.

In conclusion, I think that the problem isn’t the “deviants” of society, but why society has such deviants?

We must look at the source the problems, not the problem makers. If we can raise agencies to a higher level of consciousness, which transcends all implicit institutionalized social pressures, hopefully we can make better judgments on individual behaviors. Until we find a way to 'malignantize' social control, conceptualization errors are going to be recurrent in the formulation of our research problems.

We must make the victims a distinct positive variable in the formulation or we will continue to raise negative dysfunctional answers to our society. Who created the formula of the research problem? Who is benefiting from this formula? I seem to find my self lost again the ever-winding spiral of power!

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