Change is the very essence of the dimension of time. Change is inevitable and those organizations and social institutions that do not change are destined to disappear and/or loose credibility and legitimacy. Pressures for social change and their counter-pressures include those concerns with authoritarianism, the human family, the significance of work and the fate of dynamic and democratic pluralism.
Awareness of the environment, of the world in general, has been communicated for thousand of years by word of mouth, in myth, fable, story, and the song. In this form, acculturative coloring of the events was inevitable, and the spoken word served as a major vehicle of socialization.
The advent of printing expanded knowledge of the world, although removing it a step farther from immediate awareness. Intellectualization, rationalization, the scientific, industrial and technological revolutions were facilitated by the dissemination of the printed word. This trend provided useful knowledge but also cheap propaganda.
The radio brought the dissemination of knowledge back to the auditory level, which is a more immediate and emotional plane of awareness.
The use of the film, and particularly of television, has provided human beings with opportunities of immediate awareness, rather than indirect, reflective rationalized and predigested awareness. Television, combining auditory and visual impacts, arrests the attention of the viewer and stimulates his visceral participation in the events that he/she is perceiving. He/she can witness the actual undertakings of a war, but editorializing and selectivity limit his/her perceptions. The acculturative screen is full of holes.
The electronic technology, perhaps a hybrid system that, if use well could create a more balance educational system between the pedagogy based on knowledge creation and the immediate seduction and awareness by way human spectacle and drama.
Linear thinking, the serial links in the chains of psychological causality characteristics is being challenged by the here and now approaches for a humanistic education.
This complex dynamic is leading to a kind of principle of rehumanization as a kind of behavior, service or venture that wishes to adapt in a changing environment and to do so by striking the proper balance between social control and social change.
A worthwhile function of education and management is the continued redefinition and reaffirmation of those qualities of people that are ultimately and uniquely human. A humanistic approach to education and to management would harmonize with social changes by taking on the responsibility of helping preserve human qualities of those who are buffeted by the disruptions of the status quo.
In one of my favorite books of Sigmund Freud, the philosopher, Civilization and Its Discontents, 1930, he stated: “men have brought their powers of subdue the forces of nature to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this, hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension.
A rehumanizing function of education and management should guarantee the survival of solidarity, reciprocity, mutuality and virtue in the face of active social change. The choice is our to make.
Copyright 2003 QBS, Inc.