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#81
Ruth Benedict and her relentless pursuit of cultural models.
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п»ї<title>Ruth Benedict and her relentless pursuit of cultural models.</title>
[Obrazek: ruth-benedict.jpg]
Ruth Fulton Benedict (New York, 1887-1948) was an American writer and anthropologist. She began her professional life writing poetry, but later discovered anthropology. During her time as a student, she befriended anthropologist Margaret Mead. However, her mentor and teacher was Franz Boas. In fact, Boas' disciples were responsible for spreading relativist ideas in the anthropological discipline. Furthermore, his studies built bridges between psychology and anthropology, since he belonged to the current known today as culture and personality.
Benedict's life was not the most common, if we take into account the time in which he lived, since the world of research was the exclusive domain of men. In the late nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century, women did not have it so easy; access to university studies was something that was, for the most part, relegated to men.
For this reason, Ruth Benedict is a fundamental figure of the last century, not only for her contributions to anthropology, but also for her exceptional case: she was a woman of humble origins. Throughout this article, we will discover her contributions and explore her life and work.
First steps in the academic world and discovery of anthropologyRuth Benedict's life and academic career broke the established patterns for women of her time. Ruth's father was a surgeon, but he died when she and her sister were still young. The family moved from the city to the country to live with Ruth's grandparents. Her mother went into teaching, but the family's financial situation was not entirely stable.
Ruth and her sister were very good students and, thanks to this, they obtained scholarships that allowed them access to higher education. Despite her situation, Ruth Benedict managed to attend college and graduated in 1909 from Vassar College, majoring in English literature. She then spent three years as a high school teacher.
When she was about 30 years old, she enrolled at Columbia University to study philosophy and anthropology. Her motivations were to give a social and intellectual meaning to her life, beyond literature. There, he met the great American anthropologists of the time - Franz Boas, Robert Lowie and Alfred Kroeber.
"What really unites men is their culture, the ideas and standards they have in common."
-Ruth Benedict
His first fieldwork was done during the summer of 1922 among the Serranos, an ethnic group residing on two Indian reservations in southern California. At that time, he was under the direction of Alfred Kroeber. He taught his first anthropology classes with Franz Boas to a group of high school students between 1922 and 1923. The following year, she moved to Columbia, where she began as an assistant and finally became a teacher in 1930.
Ruth Benedict's early career represents the progressive empowerment of women in America in the early 20th century. She worked outside her home, carried out numerous field works throughout her country and edited scientific journals, among other activities. An example of empowerment that, unfortunately, was not the norm in her time.
Ruth Benedict and her contributions to anthropologyHer doctoral thesis was published in 1934 under the title: Patterns of Culture; this work is currently considered a classic of anthropology. All the ideas that Benedict expounds in this work are still in force today, being widely accepted, although at the time they had, in addition, the factor of novelty.
In Patterns of Culture, he proposes that cultures give greater privilege to certain personalities and reject others, forming certain cultural models. Thus, cultural models directly influence the shaping of the personality of each member of a society.
During World War II, Ruth Benedict discovered a novel area of study for her time. She applied anthropological thinking to the study of contemporary and modern societies through interviews and written documents, rather than through fieldwork.
During that time of conflict, Ruth Benedict used her knowledge and experience to study, at long distance, societies in Romania, Siam, Germany and Holland. Near the end of the war, she became interested in Japan, and thus was born a book entitled: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. A text that today is considered a classic. In it, he analyzes the most characteristic cultural models of the Japanese culture of the time.
These experiences of doing anthropology at a long distance led to the creation of a manual on the subject: The Study of Culture at a Distance. In the spring of 1947, he undertook a large-scale project on the contemporary cultures of France, Germany, Poland, Russia and China.
Due to her original and unattached career, Ruth Benedict became president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 1946. An institution of great power within the anthropological discipline.
The search for cultural patternsIn her book Patterns of Culture, Ruth Benedict emphasizes that what is really important in the formation of individual behavior is culture and not biological aspects. Therefore, the behavioral differences between various societies are due to their culture, which shapes different patterns. To demonstrate this, he compared three different cultures:
ZuГ±i (New Mexico): a culture that, for the author, was characterized by a broad tolerance.
Dobu (island of the Entrecasteaux Archipelago, New Guinea): this is a culture in which social relations were predominantly hostile, with a normative value.
Kwakiutl (Vancuver Island): possessed a pathological sense of social prestige, being the most important thing in daily life.
After describing each of the three cultures in detail, Ruth Benedict reflects on various theoretical issues. Such as, for example, culture as an object of study for anthropology, the importance of cultural diversity and the complex relationship between individual and collective; that is, between the personality of each member and the cultural models within a society.
"A culture, like the individual, is a more or less consistent model of thought and action."
-Ruth Benedict
Benedict concludes that cultures are configurations of beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and emotions that characterize a society. This is not a mere accumulation, but rather an interrelated whole that forms particular cultural patterns.
Benedict was a woman ahead of her time, she had love affairs with women and made a living from what she loved. Her studies are still relevant today, and she also managed to see the threat of Nazism and tried to contribute against it through education.
Educating and understanding the great diversity of cultures are powerful tools to confront racism.
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#82
How to create alternative futures
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п»ї<title>How to create alternative futures</title>
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The future, by definition, is uncertain. In other words, the future cannot be known. In many cases it is a world of infinite possibilities. These alternative futures, narrated by different sources, may be more or less substantiated; that is, they may be based on evidence from the present and the past, or, on the other hand, they may rely on superstitions.
In order to believe in one or the other future, we may think that it is best to rely on the evidence of the present. Accordingly, three ways of creating alternative futures are explained below. These futures can be used for both literary storytelling and strategic analysis. What they have in common is that they are based on evidence from the present.
Scenario analysisThe creation of alternative futures serves to reduce uncertainty and manage risk. Alternative futures determine different ways in which a situation can evolve, which can be used to make decisions or limit risks. They can also be used to know what steps to take to achieve a certain objective.
It is important to be aware that alternative futures scenarios do not predict the future. However, they can limit possible futures. These techniques are used when there is considerable uncertainty about what will happen. When the uncertainty is very low or the situation is so chaotic that it is impossible to determine the future, these techniques are not recommended. These techniques are useful to the extent that they force one to think about factors and futures that would otherwise not be considered.
Simple scenariosThe simple scenario technique is the simplest. It consists of defining well what is the object to be dealt with. It can range from the future of the world to the future of a continent or a small city. Once we have identified the object, we have to select the forces, factors and/or events that relate to the object. Thus, in the case of the future of a country, the economy or the political system may be decisive. Similarly, a revolution would be a factor that could have a clear influence on the future.
Once we have chosen the object and determined all the factors, we create four future scenarios. One in which everything stays the same, one in which everything gets worse, one in which everything gets better and, finally, an alternative scenario that is different from the previous ones.
Next, create a table with the scenarios on one side and the factors on the other, and assign positive, negative or neutral values to each factor depending on what those factors would be like in each of the four scenarios. Finally, after eliminating the factors that have the same valuation in all scenarios, we can start writing our futures. To do this, we must take into account the factors and their valuations; they are the ones that are going to condition to a large extent what the future will be like.
"The future is hidden behind the men who make it."
-Anatole France
Analysis of alternative futuresAnalysis of alternative futures begins in the same way as for simple scenarios. The object is defined and the most important forces, factors and/or events are sought. At this point, the factors must be evaluated in order to keep only the two that are considered most important for the future. These two factors will represent two lines that we will draw in the form of a cross, which will define four quadrants. That is, the four alternative futures.
Thus, the factors will be positive on one side of the line and negative on the opposite side. Thus, in one of the quadrants the two factors will be positive, in another negative and in the remaining quadrants one will be negative and the other positive. Consequently, our alternative futures will be created depending on how the two chosen factors develop, positively or negatively depending on each of the possible combinations.
Example of the creation of alternative future scenariosGeneration of multiple scenariosFinally, the generation of multiple scenarios is similar to the analysis of alternative futures. The difference is that instead of choosing two factors, we select three. In the same way, the factors are grouped two by two to form a total of twelve different alternative futures.
Although they may seem simple, these strategies are very effective. The greatest difficulty lies in finding which forces factors or events are the most important. Once selected, all you have to do is let your imagination run wild to describe a future in which those factors will change. For example, among the series of the moment we find The Man in the Castle, which places one event as the driving force, the death of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now it only remains to decide which event will change the future so drastically.
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#83
5 types of authority and their characteristics
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п»ї<title>5 types of authority and their characteristics</title>
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There are several types of authority although in everyday life we do not notice it so clearly. Although they all have in common the fact that they generate norms or behavioral guidelines, what is different is the source from which this power emanates to define lines to follow. In the same way, the reasons why they are obeyed in each case are different.
In general terms, authority can be defined as the power that a person or institution exercises over others. This power has, in turn, different scopes. This depends precisely on the type of authority: the impact of a mother's order is not the same as that of a legal norm.
"Authority is the balance of freedom and power."
-Emanuel Levy
The consequences of disobeying the different types of authority also vary. This, of course, is closely related to the degree of power of each of them. Much of our life is defined by the way we relate to authority. Hence, it is important to know the different ways in which these powers are manifested and the effect that each of them has on us.
Formal authorityFormal authority is one of the most common types of authority. It corresponds to those persons or institutions that exercise power and influence, according to the position they hold or the activity they perform. Its effectiveness is basically derived from its ability to impose rewards and punishments.
This is the most basic form of authority. It is imposed and not freely chosen or necessarily recognized. Precisely for this reason, it is also one of the types of authority with the greatest potential for conflict. Insofar as it is imposed, it could engender a lack of real recognition.
2. Moral, one of the types of authority
This type of authority is practically the opposite of the previous one. In this case, the power of the person or entity is recognized, although socially or collectively he does not hold an office or position that grants him influence as such.
In this type of authority what matters is the subjective approval or sanction and not exactly the reward or punishment. Power is granted to this authority according to the respect it generates. The source of its influence is its values, experience, knowledge, etc.
3. CharismaticSimilar to moral authority, but in this case the source of influence comes directly from the personality or personal charm of the leader. The leader is not necessarily a paragon of virtue, but exerts a great power of attraction over others. That is why they follow and obey him.
Obviously, this type of authority must be accompanied by personal skills in the leader. However, such virtues are not necessarily ethical or moral. Sometimes it is just a special social ability or a certain skill in certain activities.
4. CoerciveThis is one of the most harmful types of authority, since it does not stem from position or personal conditions, but from the use of force in some sense. The source of power is fear and, in general, it corresponds to an arbitrary exercise of rules and precepts.
It is the type of authority that is exercised through criminal actions. It is usually a form of counter-power. That is to say that rules are imposed that go against established laws or commonly accepted customs. It is a perverse exercise of authority.
5. DemocraticIt is one of the healthiest and most valued types of authority. It starts from a formal authority, but is implemented in such a way that it becomes a moral authority as well. In this form of exercising power, what is fundamental are the rules and not the people who enforce them. In turn, these rules are the result of collective agreement.
In this case, authority is shared collectively. For obvious reasons, not everyone has the same degree of influence, but they do have it to some extent. It is a form of authority in which the interest of the majority prevails, without ignoring the interests of the minority. Although it is never perfect, it is the healthiest form of authority.
All of us are subjected, in one way or another, to some form of authority. This submission generates some level of frustration. However, these hierarchies are fundamental for us to live in society, peacefully and constructively.
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#84
Marvin Harris: biography of the creator of cultural materialism.
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п»ї<title>Marvin Harris: biography of the creator of cultural materialism.</title>
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Marvin Harris is one of the most innovative figures in contemporary anthropology. This American researcher and academic is the main exponent of the current called "cultural materialism". This is a modality of neo-Marxism, in which material conditions are addressed as the determining factor in the way of being and becoming of peoples.
For Marvin Harris, it is the material conditions of societies that determine the thinking and sociocultural customs of different human groups. These material conditions include the modes and means of production, the forms of distribution, exchange, etc.
"We have to get rid of the idea that we are a naturally aggressive species that does not know how to avoid war. There is also no scientific basis for the idea that there are superior and inferior races and that hierarchical divisions are the result of natural selection and not of a long process of cultural evolution."
-Marvin Harris
The perspective and theses of Marvin Harris have been very controversial, but not without solidity. His approach to anthropology has political consequences, and most of the discussions that revolve around them derive from this. Be that as it may, no one doubts the great relevance of his contributions to the anthropological field.
Marvin HarrisMarvin Harris was born on August 18, 1927 in New York (USA). He died on October 25, 2001 in Gainesville (Florida), at the age of 74. In 1948 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College. He then studied anthropology at Columbia University, the same institution where he later worked as a professor for 27 years.
In his initial stage of training he was a student of great intellectuals of the time, such as Julian Steward and Alfred Kroeber. He also received lessons from Skinner's students, an aspect that was decisive in his conception of experimental work in anthropology. By 1953 he obtained his doctorate degree at Columbia University. He did his final work on various communities in Brazil.
Marvin Harris made several studies in Brazil, between 1950 and 1951. In 1953-54 he was a research advisor to the National Institute of Pedagogical Studies in Rio de Janeiro. He later moved to Mozambique, where he conducted several field investigations with the Thonga community. This period significantly changed his vision of anthropology and led him to opt for cultural materialism.
In 1960 he made new field studies, this time in the Chimborazo region of Ecuador. He then carried out research in Bahia (Brazil) between 1962 and 1965. His last great adventure as a field anthropologist took place in India, in 1976, when he conducted studies on the utilization of protein resources, under the auspices of the National Safety Foundation.
The contributions of Marvin HarrisAs we noted earlier, Harris was the founder and main representative of the current of cultural materialism in anthropology. Some of Marvin Harris' contributions are Cannibals and Kings, Good to Eat and Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches. He was an excellent disseminator of anthropological theories and therefore achieved great popularity throughout the world.
His perspective is based on the idea that anthropological research should focus primarily on the study of the material conditions of life in different societies. Thanks to this approach and his hard work, he was able to reach several interesting conclusions, particularly about war and food taboos.
According to Harris, cows became sacred in India for reasons strictly associated with production. In ancient times, society depended on them to pull the plows, since the basis of the economy was agriculture. For this reason, the consumption of their meat was outlawed and they became sacred animals. Thus, beliefs and religion itself are derived from these material facts. This, to cite just a few aspects of his studies.
Marvin Harris defended the idea that material costs and benefits are what finally give rise to different beliefs. Therefore, all cultural reality is explicable through the examination of the material conditions in which a society develops. His approaches continue to generate debate, but his books also remain a must-read in the field of anthropology.
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п»ї<title>My problem is waiting for others to act the way I would act</title>
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The origin of many of our disappointments lies in expecting others to act as we would act ourselves. We expect the same sincerity, the same altruism and reciprocity, yet the values that define our hearts are not the same as those that inhabit the minds of others.
William James, philosopher, founder of functional psychology and older brother of Henry James, commented in his theories that a very simple way to find happiness lies in minimizing our expectations. The less you expect, the more you can receive or find. It is a reasoning undoubtedly somewhat controversial, however, it does not cease to have its logic.
Don't expect anything from anyone, expect everything from yourself, this way, your heart will store less disappointments.
We are all very clear that when it comes to our relationships, it is inevitable not to have expectations. We expect certain behaviors and long for things like being loved, defended and valued. However, this does not mean that sometimes these expectations fail us. Those who expect too much from others usually end up hurt in some detail, in some nuance, hence, it is worth taking into account a number of aspects.
When we expect others to act according to our expectationsFathers and mothers who expect their children to act in a certain way, couples who expect everything from their partners, and friends who expect us to support them in everything they do, even if sometimes it goes against our values. All these common situations are clear examples of what is known as "the curse of expectations".
Sometimes, some people come to believe that what he or she thinks, feels and judges is almost "normative", and even set the bar so high when it comes to the concept of friendship, love or family, that no one manages to reach these heights and, therefore, the disappointment falls on both parties. The key, as always, is balance and above all the need to be realistic.
It is clear that there are certain types of expectations that fall within what is to be expected (non-betrayal, sincerity, respect, fidelity...) all of which are pillars that support positive and healthy relationships. However, as soon as someone becomes obsessed with the "excellence" of the bond, whether in affective, parental-filial or friendship matters, frustration, resentment or even anger appear. It's something to keep in mind.
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How to stop expecting too much from othersNo one is naГЇve for always needing to see the good side of people. We have the right to see it, to look for it and even to promote it, but with a certain caution, with a certain prudence. Because disappointment is the sister of great expectations, so it will always be more appropriate "not to be dazzled" before the time and to wear the glasses of objectivity and the most serene realism.
Appearances are not usually deceiving, what usually fails more often are our own expectations on others...
We can expect a lot from others, but it is always best to expect even more from ourselves. People are sometimes as complex as they are unpredictable, so just as those around us can disappoint us, we can also fail others. Therefore, it is appropriate to reflect on these dimensions that will undoubtedly help us.
Keys that will help us stop expecting too much from peopleTo help you stop expecting too much from the people around you, we offer the following keys:
No one is perfect, not even ourselves. If we had to meet the expectations others have of us and vice versa, we would fall into a dynamic that is as stressful as it is unhappy. It is impossible, no one is an example of perfection, nor of absolute virtue. It is enough to respect ourselves and exercise reciprocity in the most humble way possible.
Learn to differentiate between expectations and dependence. Sometimes we hold other people responsible for our own happiness. We build high expectations towards someone in particular because we are dependent on what they offer us, and therefore, we demand -we need- them to act as we want because it is the only way to feel good. Even if this causes great suffering to the other person.
Accept that we do not always have to receive something in return. This is an aspect that characterizes many people: "if I do you a favor, I expect you to return it". "If I always show openness and pleasant conversation, I expect others to act in the same way". Well, whether we like it or not, these things do not always happen, and the fact that they do is neither good nor bad: it is just a matter of accepting others as they are.
To conclude, perhaps William James, whom we quoted at the beginning, was absolutely right with his simple proposition: the less we expect from others, the more surprises we can expect. It would simply allow us to be a little freer and less dependent on the behavior of others.
We are all fallible, we are all wonderfully imperfect beings trying to coexist in a sometimes chaotic world where disappointments are inevitable, but where sincere loves and everlasting friendships also dwell.
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The curious emotional life between a man and a woman.
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п»ї<title>5 dependencies that build unhappiness</title>
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Dependencies are a concomitant reality of being human since, in some way, we will always depend on something or someone. This is not negative in itself, but it does imply a task to be performed. This is to modulate and decant these dependencies, so that they do not interfere with the path of our desire, nor with our personal development.
There are reasonable dependencies that, properly shaped, are healthy for our development. For example, interdependence with a partner or family. That mutual need and response that binds us intimately, without restricting freedom or limiting growth, strengthens our emotional world.
"Because no one can know for you. No one can grow for you. No one can search for you. No one can do for you what you yourself must do. Existence does not admit representatives.
-Jorge Bucay
Other dependencies, on the other hand, stagnate us. They contribute little or nothing to our well-being and, instead, have the power to make us disconnect from ourselves. Ultimately, they put us at the service of something or someone, without fair consideration in return. Here are some of them.
1. The opinion of othersDepending on the opinion of others means guiding behavior, tastes and desires, depending on the degree of approval of others. This means that the main objective is not to reaffirm who we are, but to gain the acceptance of others.
In this logic, the criticism of others acquires an unusual value. It is experienced as an emotional wound that sometimes affects us deeply. The other is the definitive point of reference, not only for specific behaviors, but even for the whole life project. This is one of the most corrosive dependencies, since it decenters, alienates and renders people servile.
2. Fear of abandonmentFear of abandonment corresponds to an underlying dependency. It usually affects those who went through situations of lack or neglect during childhood. This is an emptiness that nothing and no one can ever fill and that is often carried around like an open sore.
In general, the fear of abandonment is not conscious. The person simply develops behaviors of excessive attachment with those who become the object of his or her love. Particularly this happens with one's partner or close friends. There is fear of losing these people and, therefore, possessiveness and anxiety in the bond.
3. Fashion, one of the harmful dependenciesFashion is a subject that seems superfluous and unimportant to many. In spite of it, there are few who manage to distinguish their own tastes from the dictates of fashion. Fashion trends are not only about clothing, but also about tastes, preferences and even ideologies and philosophies.
Many, for example, wonder whether the vegan lifestyle is really the fruit of reflection and conviction, or whether many of its followers have simply joined a fad. This desire to be part of the majority sometimes leads to dependency. Not being "in" becomes a major concern for some. This, perhaps, leads them to disfigure their own sense of identity.
4. Physical appearancePhysical appearance is also another of those myths that shape many consciences. There are those who give it excessive importance and even end up building dependencies around this aspect. They come to believe that their value as human beings is closely related to their physical appearance.
While it is true that physical appearance carries great weight in today's world, it is also clear that it is a game of light and shadow that is often ephemeral. Beauty opens doors and facilitates the conquest of good will. However, it is totally insufficient to go beyond that initial chapter. To depend on appearance is to depend on an illusion.
5. MoneyMoney is another of those mirages that sometimes penetrates very deep. It generates dependence when it is directly associated to the value that each one has as a person. To have and not to have money is a sequence that is present in the life of most mortals. Few people maintain a comfortable financial situation without interruption.
To depend on money means, sometimes, to believe that happiness is in consumption. Or to assume that the more wealth one has, the more value one possesses in human terms. For the same reason, not having money is tantamount to losing everything, including the self.
All these dependencies are highly harmful because they chain rather than support. They take much more than they give. They imply some degree of alienation or, what amounts to the same thing, disconnection with the most genuine part of ourselves. It would be advisable to think of ourselves as if we were kites: tethered to a point but free in flight.
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п»ї<title>Marilyn Monroe: psychological portrait of a broken doll.</title>
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In 1961, and a year before her death, Marilyn Monroe wrote a six-page letter to her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. She did so from a room in the psychiatric hospital where she was staying. In it she told him of the glimmer of hope that was growing in her again. She was aware of the journey of excess she had embarked on and knew she had to make a change, to approach her life differently...
Depression, low self-esteem, insecurity and even a high IQ. Much has been said and written about the personality of Marilyn Monroe, or better said, of Norma Jean; of that woman behind the myth who knew how to build a character to survive in the movie industry.
However, the end to which it led continues to raise immense enigmas. For many, it was a combination of several factors: mental illness, the mafia, the political elite of the time... Interesting books such as Marilyn Monroe: a case for murder tell us about it. Be that as it may, her wake, her golden memory, continues to arouse both interest and mystery.
"Just now, when I looked out the hospital window, where the snow had covered everything, suddenly, everything is like a dull green. The grass, evergreen bushes in disrepair, though the trees give me a little hope, the desolate bare branches promise that maybe there will be spring and maybe they promise hope."
-Marilyn Monroe
From the cage in the factory to the cage in HollywoodLaureate for her physical appearance in a few years in which women transcended on the screens basically for their erotic wake, Norma Jean, appeared in Hollywood studios, to escape from a life as a factory worker. Her greatest aspiration was to escape from everything she knew and become an actress.
Mental illnesses and the search for protective figuresWith a past marked by the sexual abuse experienced in adolescence together with a genetic history in which there were ancestors with mental disorders -in both maternal grandparents and in her own mother-, Marilyn Monroe's life showed an ideal psychological framework to develop all kinds of affective disorders.
One of the most interesting features of her adult personality, especially in the last years before her death, was her eagerness to be close to intelligent and cultured people in artistic matters, authorities she would recognize as the father figures she never had.
Among these personalities it is worth mentioning the playwright Arthur Miller. She shared many years with him, enough for Marilyn to start writing poetry and reading novels.
Although information has been extracted about her culture and intellectual level, probably through images such as the photograph in which she is very interested in the novel "Ulysses" by James Joyce, Arthur Miller would say at the time that he never saw her finish a book.
Of course, her intelligence is not denied. In fact, those who knew her emphasize one aspect: she was able to build a character to hide behind. It even gave her a peculiar timbre to her voice, a childlike tone that many found irresistible. Naivety was her mask, but behind that packaging hid an intelligent woman.
Histrionic personality disorder or how to be Marilyn MonroeAs we have been digging into her memoirs, allusions of the people who knew her, biographies of all kinds and analysis by students and professionals in psychology, mainly Marilyn's psychiatrist, Ralph Greeson, the psychological framework of this actress has been unraveling.
It is known that she suffered from histrionic personality disorder, an emotional disorder that has traits that fit the style of the seductive Marilyn.
This disorder is characterized by excessive preoccupation with physical appearance, excessive sensitivity to disapproval and exuberance in the display of sexuality.
This is to the point that the person is not able to hold a conversation with people of the opposite sex without the predator-prey role and low frustration tolerance.
Being an object of desire to boost her self-esteemMarilyn Monroe, according to biographers, presented an unhealthy need to be constantly attended to regardless of the means. This caused her depression and anxiety because what she achieved (being desired for her physical attractiveness) did not correspond to what she wanted from herself (being desired for her personality).
This state would worsen in the fifties with the end of her marriage to Arthur Miller. According to him, Marilyn used promiscuity to escape from herself, to be admired and to obtain the reverence she did not get without the need to draw attention to herself by using an arsenal that opposed her own values.
From the beginning, she wanted to be taken seriously and, nevertheless, to do so, she used her physical attractiveness, a fact that made men of great culture prostrate themselves at her feet.
However, when she was aware that her attractiveness did not lie in what they saw in her as Norma Jean Mortenson but in the sexual myth that was Marilyn Monroe, she resorted to new conquests and infidelities to fill a void that only an overdose of barbiturates would put an end to.
The broken dollCuriously, she always wanted to be remembered as a great actress. However, something that became evident is that part of her legacy has been to be a stereotype, a "social clichГ©".
Marilyn Monroe was, no more and no less, a woman who suffered from severe emotional deprivation and who had few resources to escape from her past ghosts. She died before her time, having been a full-time actress who lived for the spotlight and the glances of others, showing her best smile and accepting the rules of the game.
While a Norma Jean Mortenson who had not been allowed - nor had she been allowed - to mature emotionally, dreamed of the curtain falling for once and for life to begin.
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Substance addiction: tolerance and the withdrawal syndrome
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п»ї<title>Substance addiction: tolerance and the withdrawal syndrome</title>
[Obrazek: chica-con-problema-de-adiccion-a-sustancias.jpg]
We have all heard of substance addiction, tolerance and withdrawal, but what exactly do these terms mean?
Generically, substance addiction disorder is understood to apply to all those substances that when introduced into the body affect or alter mood and behavior. Among them, we can find legal drugs such as alcohol or tobacco, or illegal substances such as cannabis, cocaine, LSD, etc.
Today we have shocking data about the prevalence of psychoactive substance use. Over the age of 15, 91% of the population has consumed alcohol and 64% tobacco. It is even more worrying if we look at substance use between 14 and 18 years of age: 66% have consumed alcohol in the last month and 37% have consumed tobacco.
Some key aspects to understand why substance addiction occurs are the processes of tolerance and abstinence. Both are closely linked to each other, as they occur because of the body's compensatory response. But before explaining this, we need to understand what happens in our brain when we consume a drug.
Substance use and the reward systemMost psychoactive substances are highly related to the brain's reward system and dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we perform desirable behaviors, and its function is that these are reinforced to be repeated in the future. Basically, dopamine is the "reward" that the body gives us in the form of pleasure for doing something it thinks is good.
Drugs provoke or even simulate the release of dopamine in our reward system. Some, such as alcohol, do this through indirect mechanisms and others, such as amphetamines, have a similar chemical composition and act like dopamine.
This false release when consuming drugs causes our reward system to be activated. A set of mechanisms that allows the association of certain situations with a feeling of pleasure. In this way, our brain thinks that consumption is beneficial to the body, even though it is actually harmful.
However, these large discharges of "false dopamine" also provoke a strong imbalance in the homeostasis of the individual. This leads the body to activate its regulatory mechanisms to solve this imbalance. I feel it is the latter that causes tolerance and withdrawal syndrome, processes that we explain below.
Tolerance and withdrawal in substance addictionOur body's regulatory mechanisms to prevent an internal imbalance from occurring modulate brain chemistry. Substance abuse is an example where this happens. Let's see what it consists of.
Imagine that every Saturday you go out partying and have a few drinks of any alcoholic beverage. Since alcohol is a drug that mimics endorphins, your endogenous opioid system will be hyperactivated, which will generate a release of dopamines and a rewarding feeling. What happens is that if you repeat this behavior your body learns what you are going to do and generates a compensatory response.
This is where drug tolerance comes in. The next Saturday you go out again, your brain, knowing that you are going to consume alcohol and that this will cause an imbalance, will lower the basal levels of endorphins. This will cause your endogenous opioid system to become depressed, but after drinking alcohol it will return to normal. Your subjective feeling will be that alcohol has no effect on you, and you will have to drink more to compensate for the compensatory lowering due to tolerance.
Now, what happens if you suddenly stop drinking alcohol?what happens to that compensatory response? Even though you may have decreased your consumption or eliminated it, the compensatory response still occurs. If we go back to the previous example, when you go out on a Saturday with no intention of drinking alcohol, the brain will think you do, because that is what it has learned. Therefore, your endorphin level will drop sharply and, not being compensated by the alcohol intake, it will cause high anxiety. This is what is known as withdrawal syndrome.
ConclusionThe presence of tolerance and withdrawal are unequivocal symptoms of a substance addiction disorder. Because if tolerance begins to appear, there will also be abstinence when stopping use. In addition, the onset of withdrawal syndrome usually leads to the consumption of the substance to reduce the anxiety it causes. These biological mechanisms must be taken into account in order to understand the processes of substance addiction.
Substance addiction disorder is a global health problem. It is necessary to understand that it causes a multitude of social, occupational, personal and health problems. Moreover, if we want to improve people's quality of life, it is essential to raise awareness of the mechanisms of action of drugs in order to make the population aware of the risks involved in their consumption.
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п»ї<title>The Lawton and Brody scale for assessing autonomy in the elderly.</title>
[Obrazek: mujer-medico.jpg]
One of the main consequences of aging is the progressive loss of autonomy. The deterioration of physical and mental health influences the elderly to become increasingly dependent, especially if they suffer from some form of dementia or brain damage. The Lawton and Brody scale allows the detection of the first signs of difficulty and lack of autonomy in the person.
This brief instrument is one of the most widely used internationally and the most widely used in geriatric units in Spain. It allows to measure the degree of independence in elderly people, both institutionalized and not. In addition, it should be noted that it does so through the assessment of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).
Instrumental activities of daily livingWhen analyzing dependency, we must look at the person's ability to carry out activities of daily living. To classify them, we can divide them into two groups: basic and instrumental.
The former refer to the most basic aspects of personal care, such as feeding, sphincter control or mobility.
Instrumental activities, on the other hand, are more complex tasks, but no less important for leading an autonomous life. They include activities that require the ability to make decisions and solve problems. It is precisely these that the Lawton and Brody scale deals with.
The Lawton and Brody scaleThis simple but comprehensive screening tool takes no more than five minutes to apply. It is composed of eight items with several response alternatives that together evaluate the ability of the elderly person to carry them out autonomously.
The response options score 1 (the person performs them independently) or 0 (dependent).
The total score is obtained by adding the values obtained in each item and ranges from 0 (totally dependent) to 8 (absolute independence). Depending on the case, the scale will be completed by the patient himself or by a reliable caregiver (in case the elderly person is not capable).
Aspects to be assessedAbility to use the telephone
Uses the telephone on own initiative (1 point)
Dials a few well-known numbers (1)
Answers the telephone, but does not dial (1)
Not able to use the telephone (0)
Shopping
Makes all necessary purchases independently (1)
Independently buys small things (0)
Need company to do any shopping (0)
Totally unable to shop (0)
Meal preparation
Plans, prepares and serves meals independently (1)
Prepares meals adequately if given ingredients (0)
Heats and serves meals, but does not maintain an adequate diet (0)
Needs meals prepared and served (0)
Cares for the house
Cares for the house alone or with occasional help (1)
Performs light chores such as washing up or making the bed (1)
Performs light chores, but does not maintain acceptable cleanliness (1)
Needs help with all chores (1)
Does not participate in any chores (0)
Washing clothes
Washes all clothes by self (1)
Washes small items (1)
Needs someone else to do the laundry (0)
Means of transportation
Travels alone by public transport or uses his/her car (1)
Is able to take a cab, but does not use other means (1)
Travels by public transport with someone else (1)
Only travels by cab or car with the help of others (0)
Does not travel (0)
Medication
Takes his/her medication at the correct time and dose (1)
Takes his/her medication if the dose is prepared for him/her (0)
Not able to administer medication (0)
Financial affairs
Manages financial affairs on his/her own (1)
Handles daily affairs, but needs help for large purchases and going to the bank (1)
Unable to manage money (0)
Usefulness of the Lawton and Brody scaleThis instrument has proven to be effective in the objective assessment of dependency in the elderly. Its main advantage lies in the fact that it not only provides a total score, approximating a degree of impairment, but also gives us information on the areas in which this impairment has occurred. In other words, it not only gives us useful information for "diagnosis", but also for possible intervention.
This last point is essential to design and implement a therapeutic plan. That is, to be able to provide the person with new strategies to preserve his or her independence. Finally, it should be noted that the scale has proven to be more reliable when applied to women, given that many of the aspects it evaluates have traditionally been assigned to the female role.
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п»ї<title>Legal aspects of sexual assault</title>
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The rules governing sexual offenses, and specifically sexual assault, have been undergoing major changes over the last few decades. Largely due to social advances in this area.
Even so, the reality of sexual crimes continues to be profoundly asymmetrical in terms of gender. It is men who commit the vast majority of criminal offenses, especially sexual assaults. That is, sexual crimes committed with violence and intimidation.
Specifically, the LO 3/1989 meant a relevant change in the so-called patriarchal sexual criminal law towards a regulation that aims to be focused on the "sexual freedom of all". Today, and despite the fact that we continue to evolve towards equality, the intervention of the justice system is still necessary on a daily basis.
The struggle for equality continues, among other reasons, because sexual aggression is still part of reality.
Gender-based violenceIt is necessary to refer to the gender perspective to explain why violence against women does not originate in family or couple relationships. Nor is it due to human evil. Gender violence is a phenomenon that stems from the historical inequality between men and women.
In Spain, until recently, violence against women was not criminally regulated. In fact, it was not even socially visible. As is well known, it was considered a private and domestic problem under the motto "dirty laundry should be washed at home".
In the field of criminal law, we start from the assumption that the life, integrity or freedom of any person are worth the same. Thus, infringing on these rights deserves the same penalty regardless of who the victim is, since the opposite would undoubtedly violate the principle of equality.
In this sense, sexual freedom is a highly relevant right. This is shown by the severity of the penalties imposed for crimes against it. It is worth mentioning that sexual freedom is directly related to basic elements of the construction of the sphere of the citizen in the constitutional system. These are general freedom (Article 17 EC), moral integrity (Article 15 EC), and privacy (Article 18 EC).
Sexual aggressionThe crimes of sexual aggression are framed within the assumptions in which there is an attack on sexual freedom that includes acts of violence or intimidation. The basic regulation of the offense is found in articles 178, 179 and 180 of the Penal Code. These articles correspond to the basic type, an aggravated type and a series of common aggravating circumstances.
When understanding the crime, it is essential to bear in mind that the victim (the passive subject) can be any person. That is, regardless of their sex and the affective relationship they may have with the aggressor.
It is evident, in our current society, that despite the fact that two people are married, the marriage bond will in no case exclude the responsibility of the aggressor-spouse in the event of an aggression. Obviously, the fact of contracting marriage does not oblige to have sexual relations, nor does it give the right to one of the spouses to coercively have sexual relations with the other. Nor would the fact that the victim was engaged in prostitution exclude the aggressor's responsibility.
Violence or intimidation in the crimeThese two elements (violence/intimidation) are common in the basic type of sexual assault (defined in article 178 PC), and also appear in the qualified type (rape). This means that for a sexual assault to occur, the aggressor must have used violence or intimidation in his actions.
Violence must be understood as the exercise of physical force on a person, subduing and harming him. With respect to intimidation, the concept must be understood as a threat that implies a serious and immediate evil, capable of bending the will of a person. In order for it to be said that the offender has intimidated the victim and then sexually assaulted her, the intimidation must have been deliberately provoked. That is, with the aim of intimidating the victim.
It is essential to take into account the consequences of these crimes for the victim. In particular, it has been demonstrated that sexual aggression has a serious psychological impact on women's lives. The fight against inequality, feminism, continues. The legal measures that seek to protect against sexual crimes are progressively becoming stricter.
Moreover, it will not be possible to put an end to gender violence through criminal means if these are not complemented by education based on equality and tolerance. Teaching respect, educating in diversity, will be the most powerful weapon to avoid this social problem in future generations.
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