ERIC Number: EJ1172641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Engagement in Dialogue: Tracing Our Connections or Speaking across the Space Between?
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v50 n5 p448-454 2018
In this paper I contrast conceptions of self from two perspectives: an individualistic orientation and a communitarian approach. In doing so, the philosophical justification is Wittgenstein's idea that individualism is produced and reinforced as a way of being, thinking and interacting in community. With this contextual frame, I argue that we are shaped by the language practices of our community to ascribe meaning and interpret our own relationships with others through our language lexicon and grammar. To illustrate the communitarian perspective I refer to Maori perspectives in which connectedness is axiomatic: in particular the concepts of "whanaungatanga" and "whakapapa", as described by Ka'ai and Metge. On the basis that such concepts are predicated on language use, I suggest that we can learn the grammar of engagement in a discursive context that emphasises connectedness just as easily as in one which is founded on separateness. I argue that interacting with an other is to engage with the ideas, beliefs, and values that shape their language, even as we expose our own. Engaging between individualistic and communitarian understandings is presented as learning to bridge language gaps between different social constructs and understandings of reality.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Ethnic Groups, Pacific Islanders, Individualism, Collectivism, Interpersonal Relationship, Language Usage, Grammar, Values, Beliefs, Foreign Countries, Philosophy, Language Role, Self Concept
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A