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  •  Lakoff Isn't Saying "Mommy Party" (3.66)
    Another poster hit the nail on the head by identfying Atticus Finch as the model nurturant father.  Let me tell you, there was nothing sissified about him.  

    I think that you are confusing Lakoff's deep analysis--which is a conceptual one--with questions of presentation, which you are unconsciously mis-reading back into Lakoff. The point is, nurturance is a foundation. It's a foundation that can support enormous strenth--much more strength than the Strict Father model can. So, when it's time to talk about strength, we should talk about strength. But unless we are clear about where it comes from--about the foundations in nurturance--we are very liable to get confused, and sucked into Strict Father representations of strength.  

    This is precisely what's been happening with Kerry ever since the Swift Boat ads came out.  You know, when he saved one man's life, that was an act of nurturant strength. And, when he came back and worked to stop the war, he saved a lot more lives--which was also an act of nurturant strength.  If Kerry had internalized Lakoff's thinking, he would not have such a hard time explaining this.  And he wouldn't have to say a word about "nurturance" to do so.

    The Structure of Lies In A Land Without Silence--Let's put the information back in the information age!

    by Paul Rosenberg on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 10:58:23 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good (4.00)
      Yes, I do think it's a difference behind metaphor and presentation - Lakoff probably didn't intend "Nurturing" versus "Strict" as an actual frame.  At least, I hope not, because I really do think that when their connotations are compared head-to-head, Strict just wins.  Most people would say that both sides have their strengths, but most people would feel uncomfortable saying that when there's an emergency and things are at their most dire, that they'd prefer Nurturing.  Strict has a "when-it-gets-right-down-to-it"-ness that Nurturing doesn't in matters of emergency (and foreign policy).  Nurturing has a way of pulling people (and nation states) up onto an equal level that folks may feel these entities don't deserve.  Plus, Nurturing has an unfortunate connotation of being burdened and inviting dependent relationships.
      •  "Strict v. Nurturing" (none)
        Lakoff uses the terms "Strict Father" and "Nurturant Parent" based on what he discovered as researcher. It was not his attempt to frame things as a political advocate. In Moral Politics he sharply divides his work into two parts--the purely descriptive/analytic part which deals with how the two models work, and the evaluative part which investigates and argues for why the liberal model is superior, based in its grounding in a parenting model that works.

        Now, this may well be a weakness in one sense. Lakoff's intention to be as fair and accurate as possible in the analytic phase doesn't produce the juiciest debating language.  But it's a strength in another sense--it's accurate. Which means that when you look at all the things that flow from the frame, they all make sense.

        When you say, "I really do think that when their connotations are compared head-to-head, Strict just wins," I think you are simply reflecting the fact that conservatives have spent the last 30 years framing the issues, while liberals haven't.

        And you yourself are buying into their frame when you say, "most people would feel uncomfortable saying that when there's an emergency and things are at their most dire, that they'd prefer Nurturing."

        Why is this buying into their frame?  Simple. Nurturing is about preventing things from becoming so dire in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that. It's the Strict Parent frame that it's a dangerous world out there, a world that's defined by emergencies and things being at their most dire--and that's the frame that you've invoked.

        Well, I've got news for you. There are much bigger dangers out there than the conservatives imagine--global warming and AIDs, just to mention two.  And do you see the Strict Father types doing jack shit about either? No, you do not.

        There are good reasons why conservatives ignore the biggest threats we face. (They ignored Hitler, too. They even ignored Communism--conservatives in the Senate were opposed to the Marshall Plan and NATO. The only Communists they wanted to fight were the ones in the State Department.)  Put simply, they don't believe in learning through dialogue. Strict Father knows best, so he has nothing to learn from others. So if you come to them with an argument about how there's this new problem, or even threat that they should worry about, they just think you're trying to put something over on them. This is precisely how Bush & Co. reacted to the Clinton Administration warnings about Al Qaeda.

        It's actually a nurturing approach that makes one more sensitive to challenges before they become problems, much less emergencies or crises.

        Now, admittedly, this doesn't come across instantly when say the words "Strict Father" vs. "Nurturant Parent." But why should it?  It took years--decades even--of Conservatives working to implant their connections in people's brains.  It will take time for us to do the same.  

        Remember, Lakoff is arguing both about what is really going on--"Strict Father" vs. "Nurturant Parent"--and about how to communicate. He is not saying that we should lead with speeches titled "Let Us Nurture You!" How you present the nurturant parent position is something to be worked in a myriad of different ways.  

        But if you try to change the basic framework to make it sound "tougher" or whatever, you will be distorting the fundamental insight, and doing so to match an environment that's been defined by the other side.  This would be a double mistake.

        The Structure of Lies In A Land Without Silence--Let's put the information back in the information age!

        by Paul Rosenberg on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 01:44:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Strict Father vs. Kids of Police (4.00)
      A moment's thought will make it clear that Strict Father is no way to run a railroad.  The kids of Strict Fathers--kids of police, ministers, politicians, any figure of authority---tend to be way more screwed up and liable to completely screw up their lives and those of others than the kids of normal people.

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