Friday, May 30, 2014

Why is it so difficult to rise in society? People are attached to their social status

Young people are often optimistic beyond reason. They have outlandish dreams and often want to change the world. Yet, as the years go by, the overwhelming majority of them will follow the lifestyle and social class of their parents. This is the conclusion of an extensive, multinational study from historical records going back centuries: The Son Also Rises, Surnames and the History of Social Mobility by Gregory Clark. The author, who identifies social competence with genes, demonstrates that social competence, i.e. genes determines social class status. The work's relevant findings are supported by immense scholarly research. His recommendations to put a limit on societal disparities, indicates his social concern and responsibility. A relevant counterbalance to the above work is another book, 'The science of consciousness.' While agreeing with some assumptions, Deli's book proposes that the underlying relationship between personal belief system and the place in the social hierarchy is often independent of genetics.

With the dawn of genetic profiling it is becoming clear that there are numerous inheritable characteristics, and many of those determine intellectual abilities. Intellectual abilities are not black and white character traits however, but resemble the widely used Itten color wheel, in which blending leads to unlimited possibilities. Some are blessed with perfect pitch, 3D vision, musical abilities, language, or organisational skills. We can even venture to say that talents are as varied as people themselves. But if this is true, how come this 'talent' does not get translated into social mobility?

We have to examine the social structure to answer this question. Interaction (personal and economic) in every society generates inequality. Those at the top see their status rise even in democratic society. People in the higher income level have greater financial and personal security, giving them greater possibilities and the belief that possibilities are open to them. Those occupying the lower rungs of the economic ladder live with the constricted belief of fewer possibilities and limited choices. This uncertainty urges them to form greater attachments in their environment that prevents them from rising above their social class. The book argues that differences in belief translate into real, measurable difference in social aptitude. People growing up in a disorganized family often develop a social attitude that ultimately pushes them toward poverty. Adults tend to recreate the social dynamic of their childhood family environment. This occurs even after major upheaval to their financial conditions, such as stock market conditions or social upheavals. People will often find ingenious ways to recreate their accustomed lifestyle, some cases even by clever, non-customary means. Why is it so difficult to rise in society? The better answer might be that people are bound by the social programming of their mind.

I call this social aptitude, emotional or temporal gravity, because it limits social behavior, like gravitational curvature regulates matter. Greater gravity squeezes and slows, limits change. Likewise, greater temporal gravity prevents social mobility. The Science of Consciousness, which discusses the consequences and implications of temporal gravity in great detail, is available on Amazon.

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