ERIC Number: ED363551
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Selves in Relation: Reconstructing Community.
Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.
This paper explores the possibility of achieving democratic communities that are rational and caring, that make room for personal, unique voices, as well as a consensus of voices, that accord respect and equality, in essence, allow for diversity and celebrate differences. After laying the theoretical groundwork, the study examined this question through the concrete examples of family and classroom life. Family is the first form of community in which individuals participate, and so, is a logical choice for exploration of self-formation and selves in relation with others. School classrooms also are a logical choice, as they are the other most common community of which children are members. The central claim of the study was that the distinction between self and others may be too sharply drawn. There is hope for democratic communities, and for strengthening families, if people recognize how dependent the two notions are on each other. Strengthening communities and families means improving services, enhancing communication, and helping to meet individual and group needs such as clothing, shelter, employment, love, respect, and dignity. Relationships are vital to well being, and people exist in relationships that work for them, however marginally, or they do not exist. Problems in families and classrooms are due to overtaxation of their capabilities, and underappreciation of their worth by society. Community problems lie with political, social, and economic issues, not with families. There is a community only because of the family and other relationships in which individuals participate. (DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).