Summary: The section that we just read is extremely dense with information. Almost every 10 pages Lakoff makes a different point about how the American ‘mind’ has developed throughout the 20th/21st centuries. I put “mind” in quotes because I have learned that his interpretation of the mind means many different things. In some ways he means the more physical, cognitive sense of the mind with his references to biological changes the mind seems to have gone through since the beginning of the 20th century such as biconceptualism – how the mind unconsciously changes its view on the world very easily based on the situation the person is in (i.e. Saturday night partying and Sunday morning mass- the same person can do both but does not think about the same things or have the same type of values while doing both). This is just one of the seven different concepts about how the mind has developed that Lakoff talks about in this one section of reading.
Major Claim: “[There are].. two versions of a family- a strict father family that mapped onto pure conservative politics, and a nurturant parent family that mapped onto pure progressive politics” (Lakoff 77).
Response: When I first started reading this portion of the book I was a little taken aback. I did not agree that family life/upbringing was so black and white. But as I read on I realized that Lakoff was trying to break the status quo, not create it. He was saying that there were two inevitable ways that family ideals always went and because the two choices of family values that Lakoff gave were so diverse yet broad, his claim actually does work. He is trying to say that instead of what most people think- that every family is different because all people are different and thus have different problems/values- that there is a much deeper part to the family make up that can be categorized into these two ideas, making every family similar no matter how different they want to be. I really like how Lakoff took a risk by making this claim because (as he references on page 79) most people would disagree that something like family values can be “simplified” so much.