An Analogy for the Hierarchy of Social Development

Image of a Butterfly which is an analogy for the Hierarchy of Social Development

The life cycle of a butterfly not only fascinates but the life cycle of a butterfly in real life can serve as an analogy to the Hierarchy of Social of Development. Once young people understand the basics of building a hierarchy, then their physical growth can be compared to a butterfly life cycle. With this understanding, they become empowered to act more responsibly. Additionally, they reduce their stress and the stress of others with whom young people interact.

The four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly can be related to the four physical states of human development and the Hierarchy of Social Development.

Began by reminding young people of the life cycle of a butterfly. There are four stages of development: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. Butterflies are in some stage of this physical growth process—but have no control through the process.

Humans also go through four basic stages. We call them baby/infant, child/youth, adolescence/teen, and adult/grown-up. Humans, like butterflies, have little control over stages of their physical development.

Applying the Hierarchy of Social Development

Now look at the four stages in the Hierarchy of Social Development in which a person and/or a society could operate. Compare what a human and a society in anarchy would look like and how such a situation would be so hopeless. Then talk about what would likely occur to remedy the problems of an anarchy-based society. Someone would rise up and take control of the situation (thereby bossing) and that may or may not be a good thing. Look at countries around the world where this might be happening.

Next move on to looking at the level of control or power in a group of friends. A group of friends work together to share control based on what they agree is their mission. Often, this mission and the group control is not ever discussed. It is more or less just understood among the group members. Then have a discussion of blind conformity. You would see how this type of cooperation is not necessarily good. Then continue to look at how being considerate of others and cooperating for the right reasons results in a democratic society.

Doing what is right because it is the best thing to do is a much higher level of development than doing what is right as a result of peer pressure. Finally, talk about how people have more control over our stage of social development than we the stages of physical development. THE THOUGHT OF BEING IN CONTROL OVER SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES always heightens interest in the Hierarchy of Social Development.

Can you see the difference between Level C ( Cooperation/Conformity) and Level D (Democracy, taking the initiative to do what is right regardless of peer influence)?

Tip: Use this butterfly analogy to explain the physical and social development of humans.

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