Pop quiz —
After I posted my December 17th, 2010, post entitled “Bowlby Goes to the Movies,” I ran across the above article over at YahooNews. I immediately hit my WordPress “PressThis” button because this article would be a great pop quiz for those of you who have been following my posts on the subject of framing Bowlby’s attachment theory using a naturalistic systems theory frame (see my posts of 12/9, 12/14, and 12/17). OK, this YahooNews article is about the TV but I think my “Bowlby Goes to the Movies” observations will apply here as well. Your quiz is fairly straight forward: see if you can find any similarities between the observations I make in my last three posts and the observations made in this article. Pay particular attention to the framing that is used. If you want a bit of help then click on the MORE link below. If not, then on your way. I’ll come back to and look at this article in more detail in a future post. With all of my quizzes, it’s open book and you can take all the time you need.
For those of you who want MORE, here it is. As I read the article on how TV programs seem to sexualize young girls, I could not help but think that a rather reduced frame—to sexualize or not to sexualize—was being used to frame the issue. I find this a bit problematic because if you begin arguing your point within this frame—reductionism—you have in essence accepted the frame. As I mentioned in my December 9th, 2010, post, “to attach or to not attach” only makes sense within a reductionistic worldview. Once you accept that frame or worldview, then you are forced to frame all possible solutions using that same frame or worldview. The YahooNews article seems to be arguing against the following: objectification of young girls through the process of sexualization. I would argue that objectification is part and parcel of a reductionistic worldview. If by arguing against objectification you inadvertently end up accepting a frame of reductionism, you have just given energy and cognitive valence to the process of objectification (see my December 9th, 2010, post for more).
Sure, you could “pull a Cheney” and not accept the reductionistic frame. OK, but what frame would you then move over to? In my opinion, the only way to effectively argue against the reductionistic frame that holds objectification is to move to a frame like the one Bowlby used: yup, naturalistic systems theory. If you argued from a naturalistic systems theory frame, you wouldn’t say that “young girls are being sexualized;” you’d say something like “young girls are being simultaneously ‘de-cared’ and ‘de-attached,’ which will then potentially deaden their sexuality.” “De-cared and de-attached? what the heck are those?” you ask. I’m getting ahead of myself and will explain these concepts in a future post. For now, notice how cumbersome talking within the naturalistic systems theory frame can be. Again, because the naturalistic systems theory frame has languished, we simply do not have a language that allows us to easily and convincingly convey its meaning and message. We are left with making arguments like “young girls are sexualized,” which only serves to provide energy and valence to the process of sexualizing young girls. Hey, you wanted more. Good luck with your pop quiz. If you think you have arrived at a rather clever answer, please share it with us in the form of a comment (registration required).