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Social Mapping: Our Opinions About Great Issues

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 Terrorism
Governance Planned vs. Market Economies
Leadership/Followership Natural Resources
Poverty Globalization
Corruption Overpopulation

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. It will also be helpful to explore the Social Maps of others when we access the Database of Social Maps!

As in the case of Life Mapping, two other activities propel forward the Social Mapping process: (1) readings are suggested that will help flesh out our knowledge of the various subjects involved; and (2) there will be give-and-take discussions within the classrooms, in small groups in the community, and/or on the Internet that will help us clarify our point of view, individually and collectively.

Beyond what we can learn from the social mapping process, we are encouraged to explore the various great issues through scholarly books, academic journal articles, and credible Internet sites. We are also encouraged to share our thoughts and feelings about Social Mapping 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. This observation prompts a challenging question. That is, if we lack a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together meaningfully, joyfully, and peacefully, do we have the capacity to develop one? I believe the answer is yes, if we connect the insights of the Life Mapping and Social Mapping processes with the extraordinary process of MetaVisioning. I will explain how in the next segment.

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