Idealism in Consciousness Studies, Dominant Cultural Narratives, and Social Change Seymen Atasoy (Business Administration, Eastern Mediterranean University - North Cyprus, Gazimagusa North Cyprus, Cyprus) C3
Real-life social systems are based on dominant cultural narratives that generate the consensus reality of a society. Earth's political, economic, educational and religious institutions are mostly dominated by materialism and they are currently being shaken by escalating challenges. Materialism lent to social sciences a mechanistic and atomistic lens focused upon rational self-interest maximizers. This frame encouraged and institutionalized a perspective that dismissed consciousness (subjective inner experience) at the expense of intelligence (problem solution). Traditional religions had different dogmas for consciousness and became increasingly materialistic and formalistic in struggling against modernity. For a significant segment of world population, the Covid-19 crisis has caused a "psychic break" from the hold of this hypnotic narrative constantly focusing our attention on material objects, consumption, economic growth, etc. Post-materialist approaches in consciousness studies offer timely insights for assessing the presently dominant cultural narrative of materialism and its alternatives. Idealism offers much food for thought to develop a sustainable post-Covid vision for the World. Most present day social problems are based on separation (failure to harmonize and unite) and conflict. Hostile political polarizations within and among societies, populist authoritarian regimes, profiteering, regional wars, ecological collapse, economic disparities, and immigration tragedies dominate current world affairs. The idealist narrative's worldview is conducive to harmony, cooperation, and unity. Empirical studies have shown that belief in oneness promotes prosocial behavior and complex cooperation. It is not clear exactly how social science would change under idealism. The paper discusses the feasibility and potential of a metaphysical idealist paradigm in social science and public policy.