Janoff, S. “Striving for Wholeness: It is Time for Social Scientists to Make a Loud Noise”. In J.M. Bartunek (Ed) Social scientists confronting global crises. Routledge, 2022
Striving for Wholeness: It is Time for Social Scientists to Make a Loud Noise!
By Sandra Janoff, PhD
Our global systems are fragmented and collapsing in front of us. Here I share my perspective on why systems are broken, my experience working with intractable issues that cross many boundaries and my call to leverage our role as social scientists. I believe we can create a world that works for all, but it takes seeing our differences as resources, faith that we all aspire to wholeness and courage to discover what we do not yet know.
This is a grave moment in time! We are being pounded by a torrent of crises, each colliding with the other, and impacting everyone on the planet: global warming, world-wide pandemics, rising fascism, racial injustice, refugee crises, mental health crisis, economic devastation, global and local inequalities. Our fragmented systems are broken and collapsing in front of us. We are drowning in the flood and turning against each other in rage. Differing views have turned into opposition. Frustration and anxiety have turned into fear and aggression. We do not see our shared suffering. We question if we have what it takes to alter the course. Physicist David Bohm said “reality is a seamless whole”(1996). Biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy said “everything is connected to everything else”(1952). These theoretical scientists have a message that we social scientists cannot ignore. Clearly, we must see the urgency of our work. We must enable people to experience their interconnectedness and develop combined capacity to navigate these rapids. We must do this before the damage is irreversible. In this chapter I will share my perspective on why systems are broken. I will also share my experience working with intractable issues that cross many boundaries and end with my call to social scientists to leverage our role in achieving a world that works for all.