Cultural Forces, Business and Peace


(Timothy L. Fort) #41

It’s fine if there is continued discussion on the first question, but let’s move to the second one that moves us into the workplace:

Given the discussion we just had in the first question, how do you think various cultural forces – again, for now focusing on music, sports and peace but not to exclude other aspects such as gender,
business itself, and religion – might shape peace or at least some kind of workplace or social harmony?


(Todd Haugh) #42

I love how these examples–the drum troupes and the soldiers singing together–demonstrate one of the critical theories of why music is such an important part of our social evolution. From Robert Axelrod:

“music-making is a cheap and easy form of interaction that can demonstrate a willingness to cooperate and hence may promote future cooperation . . . one that can be undertaken at no risk because there is nothing to lose if the other members defect – that is if they do not join in the song or dance.”


(Cindy Schipani) #43

Music is often not only meant for listening but is also a participatory medium, leading to other cognitive effects.
Sociologically, the reason music is so significant is because not only do listeners make connections with the artist, they are also making connections with the other people involved in the experience. There is a social aspect in attending a concert – people are brought together by a communal passion.


(Timothy L. Fort) #44

This is a great point. Last month, we talked about Christopher Small’s notion of “musiking” which contains all kinds of musical experience from participatory to social to listening. It’s an interesting question of what impacts people the most, but there certainly are different levels (more on that in a momentary post) at which we can engage in music


(Josh Perry) #45

Todd, via Axelrod, makes an important point about the role that cultural forces play in fostering cooperation. It is also worth noting another “c” word . . . connection. Religion, literally, at the Latin root is about “connecting” - and music, sport, etc. also contain the power to connect us in powerful ways to a shared humanity. And yet, the cultural forces - particularly religion, but also sports, also have the power to create non-peaceful separations between those who are not a part of the “connected group.” I wonder, is there a similar “dark side” to music? Is there a similar in-group/out-group dynamic that can yield the very opposite of peace?


(Todd Haugh) #46

Especially a Springsteen concert!


(Timothy L. Fort) #47

Originally, in Todd’s and my paper, I shared the following example of how music might play a role in the workplace. I moved it to a paper more directly geared toward the music audience. It’s an exercise I use in class.

I do a riff on Kohlberg’s stages of moral development (ranging from us vs them to a kind of universal perspective of life) and have students find a song that matches each of the six stages. What they students find - and what I think might happen in the workplace - is that one can find one’s own music that places you in a stage of moral development that you can draw upon as needed. So if you realize that you are in a bit too aggressive of stance, you can have your music identified that might help you get to another stage and attitude toward the workplace


(Scott Shackelford) #48

Some of these same cultural dynamics are playing out in the cybersecurity context as well, for what it’s worth, particularly in areas of information sharing. It’s tough to build bridges–to build trust–between peer competitors and regulators. The latter is especially problematic from a national security perspective given the growing divide between DC, Silicon Valley, and Brussels.


(Timothy L. Fort) #49

That HAS to get a reaction from someone online!!!


(Karen Woody) #50

Interestingly, in Sweet Dreams, music had been somewhat exclusive in the sense that only men could be in drum troupes, culturally, until the women’s troupe changed that. So there was some amount of exclusivity through the medium of music at one point.


(David Hess) #51

Those are interesting questions about in-group and out-group. I immediately thought of military music. For example, the famous paintings from the Revolutionary Wary of drummers, etc.


(Cindy Schipani) #52

I love the comment about a Springsteen concert! Certainly communal passion!


(Todd Haugh) #53

Certainly, Josh. If music and sports and other cultural artifacts have the power to influence emotion, they have the power to influence decision making–the ends being good or bad. From my perspective, it’s critical to understand how decision making might be affected so business can foster ethical decisions within the firm.

As to your in-group comment specifically, there is a great behavioral ethics study demonstrating that cheating increased by students attending a certain college when others wearing a sweatshirt with that college’s name visibly cheated. In other words, the in-group dynamic or “psychological closeness” appeared to break down some of the mental barriers to unethical action. The same would hold for many ways in which we find closeness with others, including through music.


(Scott Shackelford) #54

Music can help bridge these cultural divides in the tech community, including by helping us think in new ways about the promise, and perils, of our favorite devices and networks. There’s a quote from Tom Donahue that I like on that score - “The guys that are good at jazz improv tend to be good at technology.” But to David’s point, when cultures clash it can make it hard to promote peace in a variety of contexts, including cyber, such as may be seen by the difficulties experienced by DoD and the intelligence community in recruiting top tech talent. That’s one reason I, and others, have been calling for the creation of a cyber peace corps: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/10/26/the_world_needs_a_cyber_peace_corps.html


(Josh Perry) #55

So, to clarify and make sure I understand the take-home point, the power of music for peace is in it’s ability to unify/connect/foster closeness via its influence on our emotions?


(Timothy L. Fort) #56

My own sense is that music does do these things, though I also think it can be a common point of departure (Sweet Dreams) and also has educational value (lyrics from recording artists) too. We’ll move to the next question in a second


(David Hess) #57

It seems like there could be interesting research on music and moral courage and moral imagination.


(Timothy L. Fort) #58

Again, it is fine to continue to discuss points raised in the last 40 minutes, but let’s also move onto the third and final question:

All the members of our panel are law professors who teach in business schools. How do these forces we have been discussing help to make for more ethical and peacebuilding businesses and how does the law (and business) help peace-related issues pertaining to music, sports, and film?


(Cindy Schipani) #59

Regarding a psychological closeness - brings to mind the 9/11 tragedy and Springsteen’s “The Rising” album. Springsteen relates that a fan told him “We need you now.” The audience and the artist work together to express social ideas and frustrations. In his words, “The word concert – people working together – that’s the idea.” Springsteen may be the artist but social change and creating music are not a one man show.


(Timothy L. Fort) #60

Not to cold-call, but Josh, I know your and Arlen’s paper looks closely at the use of music by politicians that might be contrary to the musician’s preferences. Was wondering if you might comment on how the law might look at such uses?