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Professor James Liu: Towards a Psychology of Global Consciousness (Inaugural Lecture, 2010)


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On 28 September 2010, Professor James Liu delivered his inaugural lecture, "Towards a Psychology of Global Consciousness".

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Professor James Liu: Towards a Psychology of Global Consciousness (Inaugural Lecture, 2010)

  1. 1. Towards a Psychology of Global Consciousness Professor James H. Liu Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research School of Psychology Victoria University of Wellington Email:
  2. 2. In Globalization today: <ul><li>There are over 50,000 commercial airline flights per day, carrying more than a billion people a year </li></ul><ul><li>The total immigrant population in the world is more than 186 million </li></ul><ul><li>300,000 jobs were outsourced from the USA to other countries in 2003. Manufacturing productivity increased by 103% from 1980 to 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is 73% stocked with products from Asian (and other) developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>China is now the world’s second largest economy & projected to overtake the USA as #1 in 2027 </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a Global Consciousness to match the brute facts of globalization? </li></ul><ul><li>If there is not, how will we manage the impacts of Climate Change? </li></ul>
  3. 3. OVERVIEW- Past, Present, Future <ul><li>Representations of World History around the Planet & their Implications for Global Consciousness (where we came from) </li></ul><ul><li>The Liberal Project and its Discontents: Bicultural Evidence from Aotearoa/NZ (where we are now) </li></ul><ul><li>The Pacific Century: Chinese Benevolent Authority Model of Societal Organization (where we’re going) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Global Consciousness? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why History? <ul><li>History is an important symbolic resource: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Human Consciousness is historically contingent on technology, mentalities, and temporal powers. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) It encompasses the accumulated wisdom and knowledge from our ancestors that can be applied to new situations. History provides traditions, values, and symbols that are vital to the culture-specific functioning of societies. STABILITY </li></ul><ul><li>(3) History is appealing as a tool for political communications because it offers concrete events and people with emotional resonance whose relevance to the current situation is open to interpretation and public debate. CHANGE </li></ul><ul><li>Liu & Hilton (2005) British Journal of Social Psychology </li></ul>
  5. 5. METHOD (Liu et al., 2005, Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology ) <ul><li>Student Samples from 6 Western nations: Australia, N=102; France, N=102; Germany, N=81; Great Britain, N=39; New Zealand, N=112; USA, N=86 ( only post Sept 11 sample ) </li></ul><ul><li>6 Asian Samples: Hong Kong, N=123; Japan, N=91; Malaysia, N=180 ; Philippines, N=302; Singapore, N=201, Taiwan, N= 663 (half students, half adults ) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Open Ended Questions used <ul><li>Write down the names of the 5 people born in the last 1,000 years whom you consider to have had the most impact, good or bad, on World History. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine that you were giving a seminar on world history. What 7 events would you teach as the most important in World History? </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended answers written in by participants and coded. </li></ul><ul><li>Liu et al. 2005 Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology </li></ul>
  7. 7. Most Important Events in World History according to Western Samples Rank USA Pct Great Britain Pct France Pct 1 WW II 86% WWII 77% WWII 64% 2 WW I 50% WW I 64% French Rev 54% 3 American Indep 38% Vietnam War 28% WW I 30% 4 Sept 11 Terrorism 27% Man on the Moon 26% US History 28% 5 Discov Americas 26% Birth of Christ 26% Colonization 27% 6 Vietnam War 20% Industrial Rev 18% Atomic Bombing 20% 7 American Civil War 20% Discov. Of America 18% German Reunification 19% 8 French Rev 14% Roman Empire 18% Man on the Moon 16% 9 Birth of Christ 14% Atomic Bombing 15% Decolonization 14% 10 Breakup of USSR 12% Slavery 13% Nazism/Facism 12% Rank Australia Pct New Zealand Pct Germany Pct 1 WWII 68% WWII 73% WWII 68% 2 WW I 60% WW I 64% WW I 60% 3 Man on the Moon 24% Man on the Moon 37% French Rev 49% 4 Holocaust 21% Women's Suffrage 21% Discov. Americas 32% 5 Atomic Bombing 21% Birth of Christ 21% German Reunification 23% 6 Industrial Revolution 19% Industrial Rev 20% Russian Rev 23% 7 Vietnam War 18% Roman Empire & Fall 19% Cold War 21% 8 Discov. Of Australia 16% German Reunification 16% Vietnam War 20% 9 Women's Suffrage 16% Discov. Of America 16% Crusades 15% 10 Birth of Christ 15% French Revolution 15% Colonialism 15% (N=82) (N=39) (N=99) Gulf War 13% (N=98) (N=107) (N=81)
  8. 8. Most Important Events in World History according to East Asian Samples Rank Japan Pct Taiwan Hong Kong Pct 1 WWII 52% WW II 69% WWII 81% 2 WW I 29% WW I 60% WW I 52% 3 French Revolution 23% Man on the Moon 25% Tien An Men 45% 4 Industrial Rev 17% Industrial Rev 23% Sino-Japanese War 39% 5 Vietnam War 17% American Indep 22% USSR Breakup 23% 6 Cold War 12% Discov. of Americas 20% Cultural Revolution 19% 7 Crusades 11% USSR Breakup 15% German Reunification 16% 8 Atomic Bombing 9% Crusades 15% Gulf War 15% 9 Discov. of Americas 9% Renaissance 14% American Indep 14% 10 Korean War 7% French Revolution 10% French Revolution 14% Rank Singapore Pct Philippines Pct Malaysia Pct 1 WWII 94% WWII 68% WWII 60% 2 WW I 84% WW I 54% WW I 60% 3 Gulf War 32% Gulf War 23% Industrial Rev 28% 4 Cold War 24% French Rev 16% Rise of Islam 23% 5 Great Depression 22% Industrial Rev 15% Atomic Bombing 17% 6 Industrial Rev 19% Nazism 15% Chinese history 14% 7 Vietnam War 11% Renaissance 15% Islam v.Christian Wars 13% 8 USSR Breakup 10% People Power (EDSA) 14% Opium War 12% 9 Rise of Communism 10% Atomic Bombing 13% Renaissance 12% 10 French Revolution 9% Man on the Moon 11% Japanese colonialism 11% (N=75) (N=646) (N=119) American Indep 7% (N=196) (N=272) (N=145) German Reunification 9%
  9. 11. Summary – Representations of World History <ul><li>(1) History is projected backwards from the present with sample averages of 63% of events and 72% of persons from the last 100 years </li></ul><ul><li>(2) A Story about politics and war (esp. WWII & Hitler, most nominated person), accounting for 67% of events and persons. </li></ul><ul><li>(3) More Eurocentric than ethnocentric. </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Under-estimates the importance of economics and technology (& science). </li></ul><ul><li>(Replicated using 12 more countries in 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>The Good: Science, technology, human rights, equality, democracy & the sovereign individual (?) </li></ul><ul><li>The Contingent: Bureaucratic efficiency & economic rationalization, the system of nation states </li></ul><ul><li>The Bad: “War made the state, and the state made war” (historian Charles Tilly). </li></ul><ul><li>Liu et al. (2005, 2009) Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology </li></ul>
  10. 12. How general is this representation? <ul><li>Education dependent </li></ul><ul><li>How about the great ancients of China and India? Present focused as well? </li></ul>
  11. 13. China and India 2.0 11% George Bush Jr 5.0 10% Confucius 10 5.6 16% Lincoln 5.3 10% Sun Yatsen 9 6.8 11% Subhas C. Bose 4.9 16% Newton 8 5.8 16% Einstein 5.8 21% Zhou Enlai 7 5.8 18% Shivaji Bhonsle 4.6 28% Napoleon 6 6.2 19% Bhagat Singh 5.6 36% Deng Xiaoping 5 5.8 22% Mother Teresa 4.7 40% Marx 4 5.6 25% Osama bin Laden 5.5 42% Einstein 3 3.6 61% Hitler 3.0 58% Hitler 2 4.9 75% Gandhi 4.7 64% Mao 1 Eval Pct India Eval Pct China Rank Most Important People in Last 1000 Years       2.2 16% Opium War 10= 2.4 14% Asian Tsunami 3.0 16% Atomic Bomb 10 2.7 14% Iraq War 4.2 17% Sino-Japanese War 9 2.6 15% Partition India-Pak 4.3 20% Colonization 8 2.5 15% both World Wars 5.5 20% Man on Moon 7 3.7 18% India-Pakistan War 3.2 24% Fall of Communism 6 4.0 20% Cold War 5.5 33% Technological Dev 5 2.8 37% WW I 5.2 36% Industrial Rev 4 6.3 42% Indian Independence 2.2 40% WW I 3 3.1 49% 9-11 WTC 5.3 48% Found PR China 2 2.8 61% WW II 2.0 81% WW II 1 Eval   India (N=100) Eval Pct China (N=115) Rank Most Important Events in World History
  12. 14. A Clash of Civilizations with Islam? 3.7 12% Marx 4.7 6% Che Guevara 10 6.2 14% Thomas Edison 5.5 7% Turgut Ozal 9 6.0 16% Princess Diana 5.9 7% Thomas Edison 8 5.8 18% Gandhi 5.5 8% Ismet Inonu 7 6.0 20% Mother Teresa 5.9 10% Bill Gates 6 5.4 23% Einstein 1.2 24% George Bush Jr 5 6.6 28% Mohammed 5.8 25% Einstein 4 4.8 30% Sukarno 6.3 29% Sultan Mahmed II 3 1.9 30% George Bush Jr 3.0 60% Hitler 2 2.7 58% Hitler 6.8 94% Kemal Ataturk 1 Eval Pct Indonesia Pct Turkey Rank     Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years 2.8 20% Atomic Bomb 6.1 12% Industrial Revolution 10 3.0 21% Israel-Palest. Conflict 4.8 13% Discovery of Americas 9 1.5 21% Bali Bombing 2.0 20% Iraq War 8 4.9 22% Industrial Revolution 6.8 19% Found. Turkish Rep. 7 3.8 24% Crusades 5.5 22% French Revolution 6 1.9 32% Iraq War 2.5 26% 9-11 WTC 5 2.5 24% WW I 6.5 35% Conquest of Istanbul 4 2.4 43% Asian Tsunami 3.2 41% WW II 3 2.6 60% 9-11 WTC 6.7 42% Turkish War of Indep 2 2.8 79% WW II 3.2 44% WW I 1 Eval Pct Indonesia (N=104) Pct Turkey (N=227) Rank Most Important Events in World History
  13. 15. Summary of Muslim Nations of Turkey and Indonesia <ul><li>No evidence of a pan-Islamic history. Turkish world history is secular and focused on the creation of the Republic of Turkey in the 20 th century. Indonesia more Islamic in narrative, but in hard fight vs. Islamic terrorism. </li></ul><ul><li>In so far as representations of history is an indicator, the “clash of civilizations” is the product of Western imagination. Turkey and Indonesia admire Western ideals of progress but their secular societies are corrupt. </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of prestige for American Presidency: Bush’s rating was significantly worse than Hitler in 4 societies, equal to Hitler as perfectly negative in Spain, and higher than Hitler in 2 societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Power of the west as agents of history causes reactance in developing world. But THE CORE OF GLOBAL HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS IS MODERNITY EMANATING FROM THE WEST </li></ul>
  14. 16. New World History Survey (Liu et al., Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, in press) <ul><li>Moving from open-ended nominations to closed-ended mathematical evaluations. </li></ul><ul><li>Student data collected from 30 societies, with more than 5800 participants </li></ul><ul><li>Any event or figure nominated by more than 1 society in either the 2004 or 2009 papers were included. Importance and evaluation of 40 prominent historical events and figures across 30 societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is to use the science of survey analysis to develop a global language of historical symbols: What understandings do we share about the events in history that brought here? </li></ul>
  15. 17. A cross-culturally reliable historical events scale: Calamities
  16. 18. Less Agreement on Progress
  17. 19. Country level Data: Western countries don’t want to fight and see Calamities as horrific
  18. 20. Conclusions from the Past: the Historical Basis for Global Consciousness <ul><li>Global Historical Consciousness is rooted in forms of modernity developed and exported from the West to other Cultures, including democracy, the nation-state system, and industrialization. </li></ul><ul><li>But in mathematical terms, the Symbolic Landscape of Shared Meanings about History is Limited. There is much more agreement about what is Historical Calamity than Progress (what to avoid rather than what to achieve). </li></ul><ul><li>It is promising for global stability that the most powerful civilization also has citizens who are the least willing to fight in wars. </li></ul><ul><li>We have left behind the era of Western imperialism, but that era casts long post-colonial shadows of inequality. </li></ul>
  19. 22. Indigenous Manifestations of Global Consciousness in Aotearoa/New Zealand <ul><li>Problem with purely Western forms of Global Consciousness is that they can’t handle fundamental inequality between cultures and religions. So the reality doesn’t live up to the ideals. Failure of liberal ideology. </li></ul><ul><li>Global consciousness has to be adapted to the indigenous conditions of life. In NZ, the struggle between Maori and Pakeha has been the defining thread of our narratives of nationhood. </li></ul><ul><li>Maori encounters with Western civilization </li></ul><ul><li>= Bicultural conception of NZ nationhood </li></ul><ul><li>that lives alongside a liberal view. </li></ul>
  20. 23. 10 MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY ACCORDING TO GENERAL SAMPLE OF MAORI AND PAKEHA/NZ EUROPEANS (Liu, Wilson, McClure & Higgins, 1999   1. Treaty of Waitangi 54%   1. Treaty of Waitangi 69% 2. The Land Wars 35%   2. World Wars 66% 3= Maori/Polynesian Arrival 30%   3. Maori/Polynesian Arrival 41% 3= European Arrival 30%   4. European Arrival 40% 3= World Wars 30%   5. The Land Wars 35% 6 Women’s Suffrage 19%   6. Women’s Suffrage 29% 7. Colonisation 16%   7. Arrival of James Cook 28% 8= Education Act passed pro- 14%   8. Colonisation 16%   viding free education.     9= The Depression 14% 8= NZ becomed independent state. 14%   9= 1981 Springbok Tour 14% 8= Musket Wars between Tribes 14%         8= NZ Government formed 14%           Maori (N=37)       Pakeha (N=94)   8= 1981 Springbok Tour 14%        
  21. 24. How well have Maori and Pakeha/NZ Europeans honoured the Treaty of Waitangi? Student Sample General Sample
  22. 25. Implicit Associations with Symbols of National Identity
  23. 26. At the symbolic level (IAT), Maori and Pakeha are BOTH part of the national identity
  24. 27. NZ accommodation between the Global & Local: Symbolic but not Resource-Based Inclusion for Maori <ul><li>NZ has a set of adaptations to manage the fundamental inequalities between settler and indigenous society that are impressive, but still less than ideal. </li></ul><ul><li>If we are all so equal in principle, how is it that Maori form 16% of the total population and 50% of the prison population? How is it that Maori die 8 years younger than the NZ average? </li></ul>
  25. 28. Symbolic Accommodation: Support for Biculturalism in Principle (4.9/7) <ul><li>Maori language should be taught in all New Zealand schools </li></ul><ul><li>The New Zealand national anthem should be sung in both Maori and English. </li></ul><ul><li>New Zealand should be known and seen as a bicultural society, reflecting an equal partnership between Maori and Pakeha. </li></ul><ul><li>If New Zealand were to change to a republic, then the Treaty of Waitangi should be used as a foundation for our constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>New Zealand should embrace it’s cultural diversity. </li></ul>
  26. 29. More Support for Liberal Democratic principle of Equality & Opposition to Resource-Based Biculturalism (5.7/7) <ul><li>We are all New Zealanders, and no one ethnic group should get special privileges. </li></ul><ul><li>It is racist to give one ethnic group special privileges, even if they are a minority </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that although Maori have had it rough in past years, they should still be treated the same as everyone else. </li></ul><ul><li>No one group should be given privileges on the basis of ethnic or racial background </li></ul><ul><li>I find the idea of giving priority or special privileges to one group appalling, minority or otherwise </li></ul>
  27. 30. Historical Negation as a Legitimizing Myth for NZ Europeans (Sibley, Liu, Duckitt, & Khan, 2008
  28. 31. Maybe not racist, but it does maintain NZ European privilege through policy preferences denying the impact of the past
  29. 32. Lawson-Te Aho & Liu (2010), International Journal of Conflict and Violence <ul><li>“ Soul wounding is a term developed by indigenous writers to acknowledge that the effects of colonization are understood primarily as spiritual injury (Clearing-Sky, 2007). Soul wounding has been described as an outcome of the ongoing trauma of colonization (Braveheart, 2003). It is characterized by a loss of hope and leads to depression (Byers, 2006), post traumatic stress or a specific type of trauma and multigenerational trauma (Cashin, 2001) and suicide (Lawson-Te Aho, 1997) among other outcomes. These are all indications of a people in profound pain.” </li></ul>
  30. 33. Beyond Grievance: Te Huia & Liu (under review): Māori relational models at work in Japan <ul><li>“ The most positive intercultural engagement experiences were those who did not try to identify with the host culture, but rather those who were able to relate to the host culture… The first goal [of M āori encounters] is creating connections and cohesion between groups, yet the second goal is to affirm the distinction in identities between groups (Durie, 2003).. . Māori in the present study [acculturating in Japan] were supportive of accepting points of difference between cultures without perceiving that one group was morally inferior to the other. By contrast, Pākehā tend to have an inclination to unconsciously assimilate Māori identity into the dominant culture, within the positive naivety of preserving harmony irrespective of its homogenising effects (Tuffin, 2008).” </li></ul>
  31. 34. Visioning the Future: Two models in dialogue, one categorical, one relational (partnership-based) Liberalism Biculturalism NZ Europeans “unmarked” Maori Asians PI Pakeha Maori Asians Pacific Islanders
  32. 35. Inglehart & Baker’s (2000) Conclusion to 2 decades of research on the World Values Survey <ul><li>“ A history of Protestant or Islamic or Confucian traditions gives rise to cultural zones with distinctive value systems that persist after controlling for the effects of economic development… We doubt that the forces of modernization will produce a homogenized world culture in the foreseeable future. (p. 49).” </li></ul>
  33. 36. Most nations are collectivist & hi power distance (using relational models)
  34. 37. What Symbolic Resources and Cultural Capital do culturally Chinese people have in dealing with Modernity?
  35. 38. East Asian Collectivism as Intragroup Relations (Yuki, 2003)
  36. 39. Chinese indigenous psychology: Ethics of Role Relations <ul><li>The Five Cardinal Relationships prescribe not only the fundamental role relations in traditional Chinese society (Father-Son, Ruler-Minister, Husband-Wife, Elder Brother-Younger Brother, and Friends), but also appropriate attitudes & norms for behaviour within these roles. </li></ul><ul><li>Four of the Five roles are hierarchical, and complementary rather than Equal; three of the prescriptions model “benevolent paternalism” for the Father figure, and loyalty/affection for the subordinate role. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Chinese state as “Family writ large” with a Confucian ideology of moral ethics married to a Legalistic code of rewards and punishments. </li></ul>
  37. 40. Moral and Ethical Authoritarianism rather than Authoritarian Evil (RWA)
  38. 41. Face & Favor: the Benevolent Authority Model of Chinese Social Organization <ul><li>The 55 recognized ethnic minorities in Chinese receive categorical privileges, the greatest among which are exemptions from the 1 child policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic minorities privileges are not viewed as categorical discrimination against the majority, but relational favours for a junior family member. </li></ul><ul><li>Official statement of the Chinese government: “G reat assistance of the relatively more advanced Han is extremely important in speeding up the development of minorities. Yet the Han have selflessly regarded this kind of assistance as their responsibility”. </li></ul><ul><li>Liu (2010) Handbook of Chinese Psychology </li></ul>
  39. 42. Cheng’s Paternalistic Leadership Model for Chinese business
  40. 43. Historical Affordances for Authority (Liu & Liu, 2003) Top Down Model of Society: Incommensurable? Or Hybridizing? <ul><li>Guanxi </li></ul>
  41. 44.                                        
  42. 45. Conclusion: Towards a Global future <ul><li>The Chinese and East Asian model of development combines traditional forms of hierarchical relationalism with a modern & nationalistic bureaucratic structure. </li></ul><ul><li>The model has proven successful in Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, Singapore, and now China </li></ul><ul><li>Each of the first 4 are in various stages transitions from the bureaucratic authoritarian roots of their massive growth periods towards more Western styles of governance. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek not to reify authority, but come to terms with it at various historical moments. </li></ul><ul><li>NZers are well practiced in this form of negotiation in its own Bicultural relational models. At least we know it’s not easy. </li></ul>
  43. 46. Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Authority as part of Global Consciousness <ul><li>Western democracy cannot address carbon emissions and climate change on its own. Top-down authoritarian regimes might be more capable of enforcing sacrifice for common good if they can live up to their own claims of benevolence. They are both part of a global fabric for survival. </li></ul>
  44. 47. What is Global Consciousness ? <ul><li>A form of Pluralistic Interconnectedness spanning gulfs of religion and culture with awareness and understanding. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rooted in Western forms of modernity, but capable of taking on different forms as it fuses with alternative cultures and religions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coming to terms with two basic models of societal organization, one new and one more ancient: liberal/social democracy and benevolent authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>China is a sleeping dragon. It is better to let sleeping dragons lie. (Napoleon) </li></ul></ul>
  45. 48. “ Out of great suffering comes great things”