Monday, November 10, 2003

solutions? let's see 'em!

from a post i sent to a sociology list...

"I like the approach; I just have one question (and this is not just to you, but to ALL members)...

> There Are Solutions...
> And We Have Some...

Do we really? If so, what are they? Where are they? Where can I find the step-by-step directions on how to:

Improve the failing education system
End poverty
End hunger
End economic inequality
End domestic violence
End racism
End sexism
End homophobia

I was fortunate to be invited to be on the SAS plenary panel and this was one of the things that I said we needed to do to resolve our "identity crisis" -- develop "turn-key" applications for these and other social ills. Having ready-made (or at least templates) applications that are based on research that we can provide to people, IMO, will raise our level among the public and clearly identify us as a discipline separate from other social sciences.

Bill DuBois argues that we have over 150 years of research on human behavior and we know what works and what doesn't (and I agree with him). If so, where is the knowledge about how to make use of all of this research? Where are the texts, manuals, etc., on how to change institutions, strengthen communities, increase human thriving? Are they buried in scholarly journals somewhere? Do they exist at all?

I think it is our task to build these applications and get them out there for people to use. Not to be relegated to a journal, but to be USED by people who want the world to be different.

If they do exist already, then let's develop a centralized database where people can access them. Or let's put them into a workable framework that someone without a Ph.D. can read and go, "hey, I can do this!"

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