Values are such multiform phenomenon that they can be considered in numerous aspects, depending on the point of view and methods of research. They can be considered from the philosopher, psychologist, ethnographer, culture anthropologist, sociologist or economist point of view. However, in the frames of the elaboration, the topic is seen from the pedagogical and psychological aspect of what we call a value. A value can be considered as a phenomenon of choosing an aim, assuming an attitude towards the aim, selection of alternative aspirations in a certain psychological situation, selection of needs, means of action.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Experts and Cultural Narcissism. Relations in the Early 21st Century. Andrzej Klimczuk. Contents Introduction Dynamic changes in many areas and at different levels of social, economic, and political relationships make the reality being seen from the perspective of individuals and communities less transparent.

At the same time, explanations provided in both traditional and modern ways are subjects of the multilateral criticism. The effects of this activity have a feedback impact on the people, by shaping new forms of trust and risk, social situations, and processes of global interdependence. The process of undertaking reasonable and calculated goals is related to the establishment and development of abstract systems, which are increasingly combined with human activities.

What is more, this process needs a correct, predictable, and controlled operation as well as individuals with specialized knowledge. Such systems constitute complexes of devices and forms of organization with a technical and social nature.

These include, for example, the telecommunications systems, transportation, financial markets, transnational corporations, the armed forces, mass media, and energy networks. Usage of those complex systems carries within itself several advantages by solving many social problems and increasing the quality of human life.

Simultaneously, these systems are forcing their direct and indirect users to take responsibility for their maintenance, which in consequence leads to increase the diversity of new categories of experts that are trying to satisfy the identified needs and generate the next necessities. The aim of this book is the analysis of the ongoing changes in relationships between expert roles and the cultural phenomenon of narcissism. The book is based on the content analysis of the literature.

In particular on the works of researchers from social psychology and creativity psychology, sociology of development, sociology of risk, sociology of networks, sociology of knowledge and sociology of social capital, and philosophy of science and technology. The undertaken research work aims to indicate the most important topics from the perspective of the development of a separate discipline that is called the sociology of expertise and intervention cf.

The fundamental assumption in this approach is the recognition of experts and expertise as separated roles and phenomena that require more detailed analysis going beyond the existing approaches associated with the analysis of occupations, access to resources, power inequalities, and distribution of most important social positions.

These include identification of factors affecting the achievement of expert status, properties related to the preparation and presentation of expertise, and capabilities of promotion and implementation of their guidelines and recommendations in the public sphere. Presented work embeds these issues in combination with a particular kind of ideology of individualism that is called narcissism.

Those are dilemmas inseparably connected with the development of the knowledge society; the selection between trust substitutes and its reconstruction methods; transformations of social stratification; and the choice of development paths. On each of these levels, it eventually comes to competition between particular visions of expected social reality and social forces that are supporting those ideas.

In conclusion, the discussion concerning potential directions for further empirical research has been described. The publication is addressed not only to scientists studying the phenomena of narcissism and the cult of expertise, but also to all those who are interested in a modern democracy, consumption, and the determinants of regional development.

At a glance they refer successively to the establishment of formal approaches to time measurement and ordering of space, which enables maintaining of social contacts on a global scale; separation of interactions from the properties of a particular location; and makes extensive use of knowledge in conducting social activities and conversion of substantive attitudes to nature possible.

In the context of the undertaken topic, disembedding mechanisms deserve particular attention. They are leading to blowing up of social relationships from local contexts and reconstruct them on the vast expanse of space and time.

All of this is possible due to the development of technical and social knowledge. In other words, it happens by formulating and using expertise made by scientists, technicians, engineers, doctors, consultants, therapists, and other skilled professionals.

In terms of management science, these are software programs or software agents and artificial intelligence that utilize the encoded heuristic knowledge of experts. The primary task of an expert system is the automation of the application process so that in case of difficulties in obtaining advice from an expert because of absence or high costs a software agent could obtain professional advice Stefanowicz , 51— An expert system reflects the processes of human decision making—an expert, professional, for example, within the tasks related to banking, medicine, materials engineering, and military and intelligence services such as analysis of the credit applications, the insurance risk analysis, the analysis of the customer profile, searching for optimization in production processes, and controlling the manufacturing processes and procedures Goodwin, Wright , — However, sometimes an expert system is also a human expert who is using specialized software for analysis or forecasting for example, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita Giddens , 28 presupposes that, although the expression of trust and confidence might be the result of intentionally taken decisions, under most circumstances they depend on the personalities of individuals and unwittingly they have adopted a sense of security: belief in the stability and order of events.

These assumptions are made complicated by the fact that, on the one hand, abstract systems are expanding the areas for safety and security. On the other hand, they carry a risk and create at the same time new risks, threats, and dangers in locally and globally scale, such as traffic accidents, roofs of buildings that are falling under the weight of snow, epidemics, chemical spills, explosions of nuclear reactors, climate change, but also data leaks from public, commerce and non-government institutions, corruption scandals, and financial crises.

In postindustrial societies, the emphasis is placed on the collection, usage, and processing of information. In other words, contemporary man has problems predominantly in relations with oneself and with others while relations with nature may be perceived as less problematic. Moreover, the concept of Bell concerned the ideology of meritocracy and technocracy. In the first case, it is assumed that a high position in the social hierarchy is used to be provided for those who have the most exceptional merits, talents, and efforts in the particular profession or branch.

This creates the illusion of efficiency and social justice. In the second case technocracy , however, the highly skilled people, particularly those associated with the development of technologies organizations in the field of research and development are seen as those who should govern and solve social problems and conflicts through actions connected with implementation of technical progress. Such type of power is characterized by domination through discursive formations, and it is based on confidence and entrusting to expert knowledge or wisdom by their subordinates Scott , 25, 32—34, — Contemporary, we observe the processes of formation of the knowledge society.

Thus, hypotheses, explanations, and theories that have been already developed are becoming the foundation of actions and their formation, dissemination, and application are surrounded by a particular concern Chmielecka , Those societies are connected to the knowledge-based economy that is distinguished by business enterprises whose competitive advantage is based on information, knowledge, and innovations Zorska , It can be assumed that those processes will be a favor to the emergence of new abstract systems composed of symbolic means and expert systems.

Indicators of that socio-economic changes may include the dissemination of higher education, increased commercial expenditure on research and development, and the adoption and promotion of new technologies as well.

It is also supposed that it will be more and more often necessary to take a high individual and collective risk, which can be understood as the probability of failure and adverse effects of different activities. Thus, governance of expertise and exposure to it becomes a mass phenomenon.

At the same time, critique studies on the application of recommendations derived from these concepts have been already developed. They are conducted predominantly by continuators of research on biopower and biopolitics, which are developing three fundamental models: 1 governmentality or government of living beings started by Michel Foucault; 2 sovereign power and bare life by Giorgio Agamben; and 3 capitalism and the living multitude by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Lemke However, their description lies beyond the scope of this book.

Essential for this phenomenon are skills, interests, attitudes, needs, motivations, values formed in the process of biological, mental, and social development socialization during which individuals identify themselves.

They express their identity and distinguish from the representatives of other contemporary civilizations: Latin American, Orthodox, African, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, and Japanese see Huntington Lasch , 50; Giddens , —; Aldridge , 95— People start to realize that they are surrounded by a multiplicity of risk forms that earlier generations have not met.

Moreover, people lose their sense of historical continuity, cease to be interested in the past and future, and focus on the present events, in which they are seeking psychological security and a sense of self-fulfillment. So here, they are balancing between addressing the primary and higher-order needs. The personal pursuit of narcissistic attracting attention includes even such practices as monopolization of the conversation, consumerism, buying attention, excessive concentration on work, and creating an excess of obligations and therefore unavailability for others Derber It is assumed here that the development of narcissism phenomenon is intensified by consumer capitalism, which allows individuals to at least temporary narcissistic satisfaction of their desires thanks to the possibility of purchasing and using appropriate goods and services.

Many modern forms of expertise do not derive from the fulfillment of genuinely felt needs; in some large part, the new experts have invented the very needs they claim to satisfy. This phenomenon exaggerates the tendency of people to withdraw from public life.

According to Giddens, sources of narcissism can be found in the failure of the primary education of trust. When this is happening, the feelings of omnipotence in the self-worth are alternating with the opposite feeling of emptiness and despair. These features moved into the adulthood, signify an individual who is neurotically dependent on others, particularly on the issue of the self- assessment, but he or she has too little autonomy in order to communicate effectively with others.

It will be hard for such a person to be reconciled with the need to take into account the risk that is a feature of the modern social world. Therefore, he or she while trying to control possible life dangers will be hanging on cultivating the physical attractiveness or the personal appeal Giddens , What is of key importance here—according to Giddens—is the feeling of shame, which makes the identity of the individual fragile and vulnerable to changes.

Therapy with a narcissistic patient itself is considered to be an expert system, which is a methodology of life planning and although it may lead to dependency and passivity, it also provides opportunities for support activity and monitoring of their fate. This reasoning allows assuming that it comes to the interdependencies between different expert systems and that the well-paid professionals who represent such systems frequently manifest narcissistic personality characteristics, as well as the use of various forms of therapy.

However, there is a specialization appropriate to expertise, so those who are experts in some subjects are laypersons in most situations other topics. There is no one who is directly in control over all factors influencing the life that is created by the abstract systems.

Precisely this effect is a fundamental feature of the phenomenon of risks on a large scale Giddens , On the one hand, therefore, it seems that the living conditions are becoming increasingly predictable, and one can try to predict the course of events.

On the other hand, however, we are often unable to determine the complex side effects and hidden functions of activated processes the boomerang effect or spillover effects. Criticism and doubt in the adopted goals as well as objectives undermine the safety and permanently justify the efforts leading to building comprehensive trust and confidence.

However, it is not a universal approach. Giddens , 95—97 distinguishes four typical attitudes towards uncertainties and risks adopted by the people.

The attitudes are as follows: 1 Pragmatic acceptance, which consists of concentration on solving everyday tasks and displacement of risks and uncertainties from the sphere of consciousness. It seems that—with the exception of the last attitude—all attitudes and actions can be considered as survival strategies compatible with the objectives of the cultural phenomenon of narcissism.

It is difficult to find them as constructive ways that require the involvement of the broader communities of individuals to resolve issues that are surrounding them in the contemporary world.

The correct playing of an expert role requires the cooperation with decision-makers and technical personnel, self-determination on the question of ideological disputes, discerning in their axiology and technology, and to have knowledge about their objectives and the measures , — An expert could be the holder of scientific competencies, engineer, or practically oriented scholar or manager, says Joanna Kurczewska , — Scientists are becoming experts if they are recognized as authorities by laypersons, the creators, and holders of common knowledge, with which they have immediate and extensive contacts or for those whom they work for.

Kurczewska , introduced six assumptions to this concept. Namely: 1 The number and diversity of experts are unlimited, depending on the diversity of social and organizational contexts. It should be noted, however, that experts do not work alone. There are some forms of expert communities described as an epistemic community and communities of practice.

Epistemic community, according to Peter M. Haas , 3 , is a network of professionals with recognized expertise and competence in a particular domain and an authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or issue-area.

This passion leads to resolve problems and the improvement of the knowledge and experience in the field chosen by the group. The people who make the community do not necessarily cooperate with each other every day in the formal structure. However, they meet because they discovered the value coming from shared interaction.



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