> Paradigms do not shift because people conduct research and
> publish in peer reviewed journals information that shows paradigms need to
> or should change. Paradigms are rooted in the real world. They change when
> the world changes.
> Paradigms are sort of like religions. They do not change because of
> pressure from the outside. Its a more organic process.
I agree that there has already been too much repetitive disucssion of
the need for paradigm shifts for sustainability. But, if we agree that
a paradigm shift is important to implementing a sustainable
agriculture, then I think it might behoove us to understand the
nature of this "organic process". It seems to me that two of Charles'
statements are contradictory: paradigms shifts "when the world
changes" but they don't change due to outside pressure.
I have been recently reading and thinking recently about academic and ethnic
cultures. There may be enough similarity between the phenomenon of
ethnic culture and paradigms so that scholarship in social
psychology and anthropology may be useful for understanding and
fostering paradigmatic shifts. The book I have found most helpful in
understanding the ethnic culture is "Culture and Social Behavior" by
Harry C. Triandis (1994, McGraw Hill). According to Triandis and
other reserchers, some ethnic cultures appear to be "tight" in that
they are relatively intolerant to deviation and change. These
cultures are often found in geographically isolated settings. Loose
cultures, i.e., those that are more tolerant and open to deviation,
are often found at geographic cross roads. Thus, it would appear
that intercultural interaction promotes an openness to change.
Part of the book is devoted to techniques that are used to promote
positive intercultural communication which include:
1) understand the nature of your own cultural values and outlook,
and learn to see it as one possible way of understanding and behaving
in the world rather than as the only correct way of understanding the world.
2) understand the how people of the "other" culture view their own
culture (goals, the importance of social relations, mythologies, heros,
festivals, etc.) and learn how to explain the other culture as a native would
3) understand how people of the other culture view your culture
Doing these things may help us to structure our messages to "the
other" so that we are better understood and possibly more acceptable.
Just a suggestion.