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Social Change Message: Ending Predatory Leadership

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mediatorguy
Words 1536
Pages 7
Social Change Message & Individual Impact
Matt Kramer
Walden University
Communication for Social Change
Dr. Dorcas Francisco
May 12, 2013

At this time, research on the hypothesis of predatory leadership (PL) indicates that one to four percent of the general population, identified as narcissistic and/or psychopathic, is responsible for initiating and sustaining the majority of humanity’s greatest problems including war, genocide, slavery, poverty, famine and oppressive/exploitive economic practices. Independent researchers confirm that over fifty percent of violent crimes are committed by psychopaths (Hare, 1999). Furthermore, indications are that the pathology is not limited to any particular race, class, ethnicity or gender. Long term consequences of PL include political and military campaigns that cause divisions between particular groups of people as a means for controlling the population and for inciting wars as part of political and economic agendas; the use of rape, slavery and child soldiers as military tactics (Tyne, 2008); patriarchal norms limiting opportunities for women; social barriers limiting educational and employment opportunities for minorities, and harsh practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) honor killings and the use of morality police are rationalized as culturally legitimate and relevant (Kazem, 2013). Current research suggests that general public awareness of the nature and impact of PL upon the evolution of civilization is either negligible or erroneous (Slack, 2011). Subsequently when considering the longevity and repetitive nature of the major problems listed above, the lack of a tangible source contributes to a perception of inevitability in the persistence of the problems and a pervasive cynicism regarding our ability to permanently eradicate them. A desirable social change would result in a ubiquitous understanding of the true nature of psychopathic behavior and how it has impacted civilization over the centuries, combined with an active interest in reducing those influences in the present and completely mitigating them in the future.
If a significant correlation between psychopaths and these problems can be observed, then, resonant with the example of applying resources leading to success in the eradication of smallpox (Henderson, 1999), one can envision applying appropriate resources to (1) avoid a vulnerable degree of contact while (2) barring or deterring toxic personalities from new opportunities in which they can cause harm to others. An additional change would include a reduction in cynicism and feelings of helplessness in regard to solving global problems, and an increase in optimism and active involvement in relevant programs and campaigns. Currently, it appears that a pragmatic procedure for addressing the symptoms and consequences of PL would be to employ multi-stage, multi-generational programs. The initial stage involves a dual track approach to public education with one track involving a campaign to raise public awareness through participatory models of communication (Servaes, 2012, pp. 214-218). Positive responses can be followed up by employing the Communication for Social Change model as a means of gathering public input while encouraging greater public participation in generating goals and outcomes (Figueroa, Kincaid, Rani & Lewis, 2002). The second track integrates appropriate elements of emotional intelligence in K-12 curriculum on a nationwide basis. Outcomes include educating youth in their school environments to recognize the signs and symptoms of potentially abusive and/or psychopathic behavior and make appropriate choices in order to protect themselves. Research shows that children with a healthy sense of social intelligence (Pace, 2012) and emotional intelligence (Pace, 2012) will have a deeper, more viable sense of self awareness, be better able to understand their feelings during periods of extreme emotional stress, develop greater capacities for empathy for others, and achieve more positive results in social situations. Teaching youth participatory communication; critical thinking; mediation; conflict management; communication and parenting skills can also improve their skill set. Youth will enjoy a better overall sense of self-empowerment, a greater understanding of their needs and boundaries, and a heightened sense of confidence and self-esteem when engaging with potential partners. These changes could contribute to a reduction in divorce rates and an increased ability to establish healthy and positive family environments within which to raise their children.
Viable indicators of social change will most likely require two or more generations to become measurable. Initial changes will be most likely be discernable in domestic and localized arenas, notably in decreased rates of domestic violence, child abuse and teen suicide, and a reduction in the number of events of bullying documented in elementary, middle and high schools.
Changes in divorce statistics can be monitored through a number of agencies including the Census Bureau, the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm) or a survey of the monitoring agencies in each state. There are a number of websites such as http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/ that monitor statistics on bullying around the nation. Other data such as recorded events associated with domestic violence, child abuse and teen suicide are tracked by multiple agencies including the Domestic Violence Resource Center, http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61 and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvs02.pdf
Mid term and longer term benefits of a successful campaign to encourage positive social change in proactively addressing PL will be addressed by correlating popularity ratings towards politicians as current legislators age out of the system and are replaced by younger generations raised with a greater understanding of the consequences of PL and, ideally, motivated and equipped to participate in leadership based careers with a stronger sense of ethics, compassion and collaboration than is usually associated with leadership positions. If the hypothesis is correct, polls will reflect positive public opinions on such topics as approval/disapproval ratings of the performance of politicians in office. Most likely public opinion over the course of several generations can be tracked using a meta-analysis of poll data such as the system employed by poll aggregator Nate Silver who accurately predicted the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in each of the nation’s fifty states (Hacker, 2013).
Assessments of quality of life conditions in third world nations and the status of individuals in conflict affected nations struggling with issues regarding human rights and freedom of expression can be monitored through a number of non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, GSDRC (http://www.gsdrc.org) and various departments of the United Nations.
As a number of colleges, including Walden University, include classes and degrees on human rights, social justice and social transformation, it is my hope that the study of PL will be included in the course curriculums. When Master’s and Doctoral candidates research aspects of PL for their theses, the aggregation of additional knowledge will serve to further educate the general public, ideally providing significantly more resources to help humanity develop more ways to heal the consequences and prevent further PL activity by providing pathways to encourage emotionally healthy and ethical people to strive for positions of leadership while at the same time preventing psychopathic personalities from accessing those same positions. The combination of research on PL topics combined with the practice of participatory communication to engage public involvement in creating solutions for those topics increases the possibility that someday humanity will enjoy a world in which no child is ever denied the opportunity to achieve her or his best potential.

References
Figueroa, M., Kincaid, D., Rani, M. & Lewis, G. (2002). Communication for Social Change: An Integrated Model for Measuring the Process and Its Outcomes. New York, NY: The Rockefeller Foundation.
Guida, T. (2012). Using social media to monitor Occupy movement. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57423727/using-social-media-to-monitor-occupy-movement-/
Hacker, A. (2013). How He Got It Right. Web 5/12/13: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/jan/10/how-he-got-it-right/?pagination=false Hare, R. (1999). Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Henderson, D. (1999). Eradication: Lessons From the Past. Web 5/12/13: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su48a6.htm
Human Rights Watch.USA.(a.u.)(2013). Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective: Violence Against Women and "Honor" Crimes. Web 5/11/2013: http://www.hrw.org/news/2001/04/05/item-12-integration-human-rights-women-and-gender-perspective-violence-against-women
Kazem, K. (2013). Iran’s morality police crack down on coffee shops. Web 5/12/13: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2013/jan/23/iran-camera-coffee-shops
Leonard, A. (2007). The Story of Stuff. Retrieved from: http://www.storyofstuff.org/
Pace, K. (2012). Emotional Intelligence: Help kids respond to bullying from the inside out. Web 5/12/13: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/emotional_intelligence_help_kids_respond_to_bullying_from_the_inside_out
Pace, K. (2012). Help kids develop social intelligence to address issues of bullying. Web 5/12/13: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/help_kids_develop_social_intelligence_to_address_issues_of_bullying
Servaes, J. (2008). Communication for development and social change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Slack, C. (2011). Psychopaths are just misunderstood. Web: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2071747/Psychopathy-misunderstood-say-researchers--cured.html
Tyne, R. (2008). Child Soldier as Tactical Innovation. Web 5/12/13: http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/apjinternational/apj-s/2008/1tri08/tyneseng.htm

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