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Conventional Wisdom Society


The term conventional wisdom is one that has raised a flurry of social indecisions in the past and the present. John Kenneth Galbraith coined it the year 1958. It refers to the belief that is now being propagated amongst the society until it is now believed to be true by the society or around certain domains. This term refers to beliefs, rumors that have for a long time been propagated around the society. This term is referred to as outdated because the issues being raised are not validated by any method be it scientific, mathematical or any other way that may prove that they are true or are of any significance to society as a whole. This is true until now because as we can see it today, reports that are being flouted it the public domain about certain individuals or certain issues that affect the society stay on so long that that people tend to believe more in the rumors than concentrate on the issues that affect the society. Therefore it means that the rumors can change as time goes by depending on the keepers of the outdated information. However, because of the impact conventional wisdom has had on the society at large, and now that it has found its way in to the academic and professional fields, it is fare that it is pinned in the annals of history as a topic that can be used to accredit things that have taken place in the past (around 1838) and be able to make appropriate studies today.

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This term might be true or not true, but regardless of the real meaning of the story, one may be mesmerized by the kind of reception that the information is given by the society. The big question that begs is, “how does conventional wisdom make its way in our society?” The conventional wisdoms are deposed, phased out by new ideas, and the new conventional wisdom is treated in the same breadth in place of the preceding one, there may yet be some remaining connection to the previous system.

Impact of conventional theory in the society

Conventional theory has instigated high controversies especially in professions and academic circlers. It is a great barrier to formation of new theories and hypotheses. This is because it provides a view that is outdated and yet society seems to have embraced it. However in other circles like the religious and social circles, it acts as a pillar that is leaned on to enhance interactions between persons that share similar beliefs and values. Debate is still high on whether to embrace the concept of conventional wisdom amongst us as a people.

Reasons why conventional wisdom still exists

People have heard of one issue or another as being told since they were born. Many stories have been told, for example the story on Robinson hood and his excellence as a hero who promotes heroic stunts that are against the law but still manage to survive.

The society in which a person lives

Because people tend to remain innovative and creative, one may fin an assessment of a certain topic to be almost the same as other issues that are real in the natural world. Because of such kind of an assessment, the individual tends to believe more in this finding and influence other people closer to him to create sense out of the issues that this individual is trying to portray to them.

There is also the issue of role models. Nowadays any person that is successful in our society is regard as a role model for the younger generation without regard for the details about the person. This people find easy targets in the people who look up to them because they can easily spread conventional wisdom on the issues that may be of great interest in their opinion

Media and public creative arts performances

People may also try to stick to some kind of belief because it was presented in the media or some kind of broadcast that has been trusted by society as informative. This is a very strong force to reckon with especially in the 21st century. The modern world relies on the media for almost most information that they need to know. For this reason, the media has been granted the ‘god’ status, as all information is taken in without criticism. The cinema halls are joining in, because most people now enjoy their leisure time in the cinemas. The cinema has been know as a mode of passing educative information to the public. It means if the cinema has some information that is not true, m some individuals may sanction it as holy and carry it as the truth.

Examples of conventional wisdom

Conventional Wisdom about Religion and Politics

Religion acts as course if inspirational source for the public. People frequent the places of worship to find messages that can uplift their way of life starting from the spiritual life, to politics and other issues in the society. The religious leaders take these opportunities to assert some this that they believe should be the way society has to be shaped towards thus creating the effect that will soon are felt all across the society. The preachers educate the large audiences in the worship centers and mobilize the crowds towards certain premeditated directions. Today in the churches, there are several politically sensitive messages that are delivered in sermons all frequently and in broader terms that could not be thought of by the normal person. It is in view of the majority of religious individuals that these kinds of message are meant to solve social injustices and social values that change humanity. However, this fact has led to the dissemination of certain information to the public domain that is continually affecting the political scene all over the world. The church today is made up of an open loop of people who are bound by very strong beliefs also influenced by the frequent interactions that they have within the church fraternity (Carter, I. J.). These groups of people form a unit of persons with motivation driven by common values and perceptions about different issues that take place in the society today. Churches are the highest centers where conventional wisdom are passed most (White 1968).

The conventional wisdoms are deposed, phased out by new ideas, and the new conventional wisdom is treated in the same breadth in place of the preceding one, there may yet be some remaining connection to the previous system.

Conventional wisdom on education

According to Thomas Jefferson, the process of schooling today was based on the principle of use of force. In this case students are forced to go to school, take assignments, and sit for exams and in worse scenarios, the admittance of students to schools through coercion (Koller, N. B. 2005). In defying this conventional wisdom he provides a seven step plan of action which would guide the education system in the state of Massachusetts. According to Jefferson, a school going child has only three years to fully grasp the general concepts of life that would enable him to make judgments, do arithmetic problems and accumulate enough history to enable the to be able to be better judges of their actions and those of the people that are around them.

Conventional wisdom on economics

Forecasting is always the norm in the economics. Forecasting in economics is an important concept that may be used in realizing new developments than are likely to occur in the market to prevent against unforeseen complications. In depth research has been made on the kind of research that is being conducted by the scientists be it formal or informal. Scientist who carry out the forecasting of economic trends often insist that they can make consistent and true predictions fore the market as long as the trends in the market continue in a similar manner. Conventional wisdom has always been that the forecasters are the only persons who can deduce the trends of the market. However, contrary to this outdated notion is that the trends in the market depend on a number of factors that are natural and cannot be based on numerical values par se. They have difficulty in identifying the changes in the market trends. The idea is to forecast how trends will change and more important is the time, economy scientists have failed at achieving this forecast (Cocker et al. 81).

There is the conventional wisdom that the human population is growing highly and they might just overwhelm the resources that are available on earth. Furthermore these claims were complemented by the fact that the human race may be consuming this resource to their death. This notion tries to send the message that the world is locked with a static amount of resources that might just be used up so nothing remains of it

There are several errors in this argument, since it has not been proven. However the human population has continued to believe in this notion. This argument is erroneous because of the assumption that the population in the world continues growing while the resources remain static. Nevertheless the continued growth of the human population results into more knowledge and more provision of labor in the market. We are also thinkers, creators, and producers.  When there are more people, there are new ideas and overall productivity/efficiency increases.  With more people we can do things more efficiently, using fewer resources in the process.

In addition, there is the process of substitution.  When there is shortage of certain resources in the market in creates avenues for price rises, creating an inducement to alternate a cheaper resource in the market. Entrepreneurs find substitutes and use them to cover the shortage. The important factor is that the purpose of the product is not lost at any cost by the scarcity of the other. In the sixties the industries and experts said that the world was running out of copper wires. There was an increase on the prices of the copper. Research was the initiated into alternative ways of transmitting information. It can also be noted that the plastics replaced the use of metal when there was worries that the metal could run out. Many examples exist and will continue reoccurring in new forms that cannot be predicted for now (Dixoon Research).

Advantage of the existence of conventional wisdom

It has created legend acting as a subject identified to them.

It is use to gauge normative characteristics in individuals within the context of professionals.

It provides an opportunity for bonding and interaction within the society and in professional fields.


It propagates a culture which induces lack of growth since in acts as a hindrance to development.

Their existence only provides an opportunity for more new conventional theories

It reduces the opportunity for innovation and creating since the inventions tend to be pegged on these conventional wisdoms.

Conclusions and recommendations

The world today is different smaller units which are connected by social interactions and collaborations. There are also many issues that affect the world today ranging from politics, religion, environment and health. It is in the best interest of humanity and the world as a whole to focus on these issues and provide solutions to them. By perpetuating conventional theories in certain sectors hinder the progress for provision of solutions. In some sectors there is observation of high interactions and collaborations. Therefore the human population should be able to distinguish when and where to entertain these conventional theories for the betterment of the world as a whole.

Works cited

Carter, I. J. Applicant study and professional sociology: Transposition and transformation depictions of daily life. Existing Viewpoints in Social Theory 5:71-100. 1984.

Cocker et al. Unconventional perspectives of political conduct: Churches, neighborhoods, and individuals. Journal of Politics 25(3): 81. 1993.

Dixoon Research. The Effectiveness of conventional wisdom: objective approach 2000. 28 july.2008. http://www. dixoonresearch.co.uk

Koller, N. B. 2005. 28 july.2008. http://www.currentsocietalview.gov.uk/legislation/equal_op_act.htm


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