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Our Social Map


Social Mapping builds upon the clarity we gained about our self through the life mapping process by encouraging us to assemble a map of our opinions about
great issues of our time. 

We begin the mapping process by exploring this breakdown of the major elements of the social process.  We learn that each one of these three kinds of institutions is essential to the other two, and it is the complementary relationship among them that makes possible a viable society.

Cultural Institutions Economic Institutions Political Institutions
Education Natural Resources Order
Religion Human Resources Justice
Family Technological Resources Welfare
Science Production Systems
Healthcare Consumption Plans
The Arts Exchange Mechanisms
The Media Property Claims
Social Networks

We learn that a democracy functions more effectively when its citizens understand the dynamics of the social process and are knowledgeable about the wide range of serious and persistent issues that plague humankind, such as:

Conceptual Imprisonment Healthcare
Education Reason vs. Faith
The Environment War/Terrorism
Governance Planned vs. Market Economies
Leadership/Followership Natural Resources
Social Justice Globalization
Poverty Overpopulation
Corruption Cultural Lag

We are asked to write our thoughts and feelings about each of these great issues and about any other issue we may wish to add to the list, knowing that we are free to modify what we have written at any time. The sum of our opinions becomes our Social Map. This open-ended process helps us understand the dynamics of the social process and, in turn, escape illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment.

To review what others have said about each issue and to see what completed maps look like, we will have access to a Database of Social Maps. Beyond what we can learn from the database, from assignments, and from classroom discussions, we are encouraged to explore each issue through scholarly books, academic journal articles, and credible Internet sites. We are also encouraged to share our thoughts and feelings about Social Mapping in the classroom and with family and friends.

As we go through the process of assembling our Social Map, we become much more aware of the scope and persistence of humankind’s highly problematic existence. We wonder why this condition should prevail even though we have access to vast libraries of knowledge, brilliant scholars, empowering technologies, and other significant resources available to us. This observation prompts a challenging question. That is, if we lack a coherent, moral, and universal program of how humankind can move forward together creatively and peacefully, do we have the capacity to develop one? I believe the answer is yes. I will explain how in the next segment, “Our MetaMap.”

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Our MetaMap or Social Mapping Syllabus or Database of Social Maps