A while ago in my higher education program I did a literature review on the state of the LGB (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) student development research available. I claimed that there was no gap in the literature and that student development theories for LGB individuals was foundationally sound.
I also argued that there was room in the theory for application of challenging paradigms that nullify the basis for many student development theories. For example, a lot of student development theories are constructivist in nature and therefore demand growth and progression based on experiences for the individual. As a result, many researchers create stage models to delineate easily identified and measurable outcomes for a student’s development.
We see these types of theories across many spectra of identity and development and they work great. However, they mostly operate on the assumption of social norms in a culture and that the progression of student development is good because cultural norms say they are good. In other words, students develop into what those around them accept as reasonable. Some individuals push the threshold, allowing those after them a culturally accepted space to develop. Others progress inward and have little external presentation of non-accepted development.
Queer theory, or at least the idea that social constructs are limiting in their delineation of the normal and the deviant, challenge the constructivist approach by taking away cultural norming as a positive notion. Kind of neat, right? This approach gives creedence to those often considered deviant.
Well, as the economy seems to be falling flat on it’s caboose, it might be time to consider a non-constructivist approach to picking how individuals spend their coin. As of late, it seems to be a lose-lose scenario if individuals invest in the economy (except the very top percentiles). Put money in the economy, it loses value in stock. Save money and the economy doesn’t restart.
So what’s the other options? Money is only as good as the backing behind it. Barter is mostly dead in modern America… I don’t think Wal-mart will accept three bear pelts for this week’s groceries. There are a number of local currencies around the U.S., but that’s useless unless you live in one of those municipalities.
The economy, in the state that it is, is literally scary. Are folks going to be able to take loans out in the future? Will current loan-holders suffer from massive interest rate increases? And will we see another economic downturn like we did in 2008? And more importantly, if this turns into a Great Depression-like recession (depression), will we have the economic memory to take the necessary steps for recovery?
Perhaps there will be an “opt-out” tickbox for those not willing to suffer through this.