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ERIC Number: EJ1098430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Self and Other: Tensions within Modern Liberal Individualism and Moral Education
Harrist, R. Steven; Richardson, Frank C.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2006 n1 Fall 2006
Contemporary moral education of children in America derives from multiple sources including parents, schools, religious institutions, and the media. Thus, children are commonly confronted with inconsistent, perplexing moral demands. This paper focuses on a bewildering mixed message children receive regarding ethics: American society strongly conveys that both relentless self-interest and genuine selflessness are moral imperatives. For example, the economic system promotes self-indulgent consumerism and competition while at the same time children are admonished to respect and even to love others. These contradictory messages emerge from an ethical framework, often termed "liberal individualism," which offsets an emphasis on self-interest with an ethical view of human beings as having dignity and inherent rights. The tension between the ethical poles of radical self-interest and significant commitment to others can be deeply confusing and problematic in practice. In this paper we seek to clarify the paradoxical relationship of the ethical poles of this moral framework and outline some of its implications for psychological theory and practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A