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report of a presentation by Vivienne Bozalek on a normative framework for social justice in higher education

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Presentation at uj

  1. 1. Social Justice and the Political Ethic of Care – A normative framework for socially just pedagogies Vivienne Bozalek University of the Western Cape vbozalek@uwc.ac.za
  2. 2. Care and social justice as normative frameworks • Moral and normative frameworks important • How things ought to be- complex moral judgements (Robinson, 1999; Sevenhuijsen & Svab, 2003) • Values underpinning policies and practices • What is important in social arrangements to promote socially just pedagogies • Alert us to taken-for-granted assumptions and limitations of ways of seeing the world • E.g work ethic vs care ethic
  3. 3. Social justice, the ethics of care and difference ◻ Social Justice approaches are traditionally concerned with how social resources are distributed in society ◻ Partially useful as no accommodation of difference ◻ The idea of ‘rational economic man’ who is disembodied, autonomous, independent and equal is the normative ideal of a citizen that John Rawls had in mind. This man is furthermore able to enter voluntarily into exchanges of goods and social cooperation with other citizens for his own benefit ◻ The capabilities approaches of Sen and Nussbaum, Nancy Fraser’s trivalent concept of justice and the political ethics of care do in fact accommodate difference, particularity, otherness, plurality, vulnerability and context – the concrete other as opposed to the generalised other about whose circumstances nothing is known (Rawls)
  4. 4. Major questions which these approaches (care and justice) allow us to ask in relation to various contexts and situations: ◻ What are students/lecturers able to be and to do? What capabilities can they exercise? ◻ How are they privileged or disadvantaged and what implications does this have for their lives? ◻ Are they able to interact on a par or an equal basis with others? ◻ How do they fare in being able to give and receive care (teach and learn) in situations of their own choice? These questions can give important information on life circumstances and human flourishing the implications for these on for socially just pedagogies
  5. 5. Capabilities Approach ◻ Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum pioneers of this approach ◻ Addresses both general and particular ◻ Takes into account where people are positioned and what they are able to do with personal, social and material resources ◻ Does not assume that we are equally placed in relation to resources – resources in themselves aren’t meaningful in assessing human flourishing ◻ Particularity and context are important in deciding which resources are needed & how effective they will be for being able to flourish
  6. 6. Capabilities Approach (conted) ◻ Liberal idea of equality predicated on equal agents is challenged in this approach ◻ Looks at people as ends rather than as means to ends as valuable in their own right, and as sources of agency, rather than aggregations e.g. households, families ◻ The good life, according to Sen (1984; 2001) and Nussbaum (1995; 2000; 2006) is the ability to do valuable things and achieve valuable states, as well as being able to choose from different livings and meaningful affiliations, and not to be constrained into a particular form of life.
  7. 7. Capabilities Approach (conted) ◻ In order to promote the good life, participatory parity and human flourishing, a particular person’s needs in terms of his/her current situation would have to be considered. First generation literate rural vs urban middle class student from literate home would need more & different resources to attain the same valued beings and doings ◻ According to the capabilities approach, individual preferences or desires are not always reliable indicators of human needs, as those who are advantaged or disadvantaged easily become accustomed to their situations and adjust their expectations and aspirations accordingly (Sen’s small mercies).
  8. 8. Capabilities Approach (contd) Nussbaum’s core values for higher education ◻ Critical self-examination of self, habits and traditions ◻ The ideal of the world citizen – bound to both near and distant other human beings (connected responsibility – Young, 2011) ◻ Development of narrative imagination – understand difference
  9. 9. Nussbaum (2010:45-46) what education should be supporting  Capacity to see world from viewpoint of others, especially those who are othered  Dependency or ‘weakness’ is not shameful and to be looked down upon – need should be acknowledged and as opportunity for cooperation  Geniune concern for others near and distant  Undermine thinking of others as less than, with disgust or contaminating  Counter stereotypes with real and true things about others  Promote responsibility by making students accountable  Promote critical thinking and the courage to dissent
  10. 10. What are the implications of the CA for socially just pedagogies?  Particular and general  Differential positioning and what personal, social and material and intellectual resources is needed for learning needs  Individual preferences not good indicators of needs  Nussbaum’s core values for education  Student agency and well being and working towards social justice
  11. 11. Nancy Fraser’s views on justice ◻ For Fraser (1997; 2000; 2008; 2009) the ability to participate in an equitable way as full partners in interaction with others and full members of society (participatory parity) is the ultimate goal of social justice ◻ In order to achieve this you need a redistribution of resources (economic), recognition of status (cultural) (bivalent view of justice) and added social belonging and representation (political) (now trivalent view) ◻ Recognition has to do with how people are regarded in relation to the social markers or distinctive attributes that are ascribed to them ◻ Social belonging is about inclusion and exclusion – who counts as a member of the community entitled to make justice claims. Transcends the geopolitical space into transnationalism
  12. 12. The political ethics of care ◻ In addition to who is able to do what, who is entitled to be what, who has access to resources, who is afforded recognition or respect, who is excluded or included, it is also necessary to ask who gets assigned to what responsibilities, i.e. the allocation of caring responsibilities. ◻ The political ethics of care approach enables one to ask questions about the distribution of caregiving work in society, the relations of power which affect this work and are affected by it, and the sort of practices engaged in to ensure the care of those who need it (and those who don’t but have grown to expect that their needs will be serviced (Waerness, 1990). It thus raises questions about care, dependency and vulnerability in relation to human flourishing (Mackenzie, Rogers & Dodds, 2014; Tronto 1993; 2013).
  13. 13. The political ethics of care (contd) ◻ Assumption that the world consists of independent, self-sufficient, equally placed humans is erroneous but prevalent – we are all dependent at different times of our lives and dependents all need to be cared for. ◻ Recognition that dependency is an inevitable condition in human life and that it is usually assumed to be a familial obligation is important. In terms of the ethics of care, dependency is seen as a normal part of human life, and one which should be considered in social sharing of burdens, just as education, health services and road maintenance are (Kittay 2002). ◻ Both Joan Tronto’s (1993) notion of ‘privileged irresponsibility’ and Val Plumwood’s (1993) ‘backgrounding’ which involve the denial of dependency on another, where the services of the other are used but not acknowledged, encapsulate a dark side of the refusal to recognise dependency or care work as valuable and our own vulnerability in this respect.
  14. 14. The political ethics of care (conted) ◻ Equality and participation are seen as relational and connection-based rather than in terms of atomised individuals, in that care is dependent on a caregiver and a care receiver. ◻ Care is located in the public and the private ◻ Destabilises notions of what people’s ‘natural’ responsibilities are in terms of gender and generation, and makes moral claims for societal responsibility to ensure that care can be both given and received with some amount of choice and without prejudicing those involved in the caring practices.
  15. 15. Definition of care  “At the most general level, care consists of everything we do to continue, maintain, and repair our world so that we may live in it as well as possible.”(Fisher and Tronto 1990: 40) Tronto 1993, 103
  16. 16. The political ethics of care ◻ Joan Tronto’s (1993) delineation of the five phases of care, and the value associated with each phase, is useful in that it distinguishes the different processes in the practice of care: ◻ Caring about – noticing people’s needs (attention) listening to what people are saying and what they are not saying ◻ Caring for – taking responsibility to ensure that people’s needs are met (responsibility) ◻ Care-giving – the actual hands-on physical work of caring for people (competence) ◻ Care-receiving – responding to the care that is given by the care-giver (responsiveness) ◻ Caring with- this is the fifth phase of care which Tronto (2012;2013) has recently added. It refers to the reiteration of the process of care, where habits and patterns of care emerge through time and where the moral qualities of trust and solidarity are developed. Conditions of trust are created where reliance can be developed through the caring practices of others. Solidarity develops when people realize that are relational beings who are better off ‘engaged in such processes of care together rather than alone’ (Tronto 2012, 5).
  17. 17. The political ethics of care ◻ These five phases should lead to integrity of care if it is to be viewed as a well-accomplished caring practice. ◻ The moral integrity of care means that participation is co-constructed meaning-making and dialogue in relation to lived human experience. ◻ The viewpoint of the other is important in the care process. Good caring practice requires negotiation and dialogue between those giving and receiving care, rather than an abstract, impartial view as required by rights-based approaches.
  18. 18. Institutional Care – warning signs (Tronto, 2010)  Misfortune causes the need for care  Needs are taken as given in the organisation  Care is considered a commodity not a process  Care receivers are excluded from making judgements because they lack expertise  Care is narrowed to care giving, rather than understanding the full process of care which includes attentiveness to needs and the allocation of responsibility  Care givers see organizational requirements as hindrances to, rather than support for care  Care work is distributed along lines of class, caste, gender, and race
  19. 19. Comprehensive framework Indicators of social justice & political ethics of care Social Marker Race Gender Generation Ability Resources Recognition Responsibilities Representation Goals of socially just pedagogies Participatory parity, human flourishing/well-being/ ability to give and receive care in situations of choice
  20. 20. Questions to ask re social justice in relation to the framework ◻ Are people able to receive and to give care in situations of their choice? ◻ Are people able to participate on a par and as full members of society? ◻ Are people able to flourish or are they prevented from doing so?
  21. 21. Giving and receiving care ◻ Democracy is the allocation of caring responsibilities and assuring that everyone can participate in those allocations of care as completely as possible (Tronto, 2012) ◻ Negotiating needs, dialogically practices seeing care as political ◻ If certain groups of people (e.g. women and children) spend a great deal of their time meeting other people’s needs, they are not able to participate on an equal footing, as their own needs are not being met by someone else, and they would not have the time to pursue other activities such as studying or researching if one regards teaching as a caregiving process.
  22. 22. Resources Certain groups in society may have access to less resources than others to be able to participate on a par and achieve valuable beings and doings Dependency workers also have less access to resources as their work is not adequately compensated or seen as valuable Differently abled persons often also have less access to adequate resources to meet their needs so that they can participate on a par with others
  23. 23. Recognition ◻ The framework may be useful in assessing how people’s attributes are appreciated or unappreciated, in how their attributes are valued or devalued. ◻ Participatory parity i.e. acting as equals or peers may be rarely achieved for culturally devalued categories such as those associated with particular institutions, disciplines or identities ◻ What people whose attributes are devalued can desire, say or do may be different from those who have more status can desire, say or do. It may be culturally unthinkable for certain groups to desire certain things, for example, to have their needs prioritised above those who are more valued, and that therefore they would not consider contemplating this. ◻ Also misframing and social belonging
  24. 24. Responsibility  How are responsibilities allocated and who has a say in this  Who is exempted from certain responsibilities  Iris Marion Young social connection model of responsibility  Margaret Urban Walker – relational view of responsibilities – theoretical-juridical abstract vs expressive-collaborative theories – ordinary people
  25. 25. Representivity Certain groups in the university can be seen as more vulnerable in that they may not be accorded much voice (representivity) and may have to do what is expected of them by those in more powerful positions Those who are involved in paid and unpaid dependency work (e.g. teaching or cleaning) may not have the opportunity to participate in public fora and have their needs listened to Certain groups of people may not have the means for getting their voices heard
  26. 26. Complexity in relation to participatory parity and human flourishing ◻ Distribution of resources and the recognition or misrecognition of ascribed characteristics in terms of status can be seen as complexly intertwined. For example students only be allowed to access certain items on their financial aid and live in certain places, may not be permitted to move about freely due to safety issues and may not be afforded the same educational opportunities, both because resources are denied them and because of their diminished status in relation to others ◻ In addition to this, the responsibilities which are ascribed women students may prevent them from being able to fully engage in other pursuits such as education, leisure activities or from having their own needs for self-care met – being able to give and receive care. They may also have diminished voice (representivity) in social deliberations
  27. 27. References ◻ Dreze, Jean and Sen, Amartya Kumar (1989) Hunger and Public Action. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ◻ Kittay, Eva (2002) ‘Love’s Labor Revisited’. Hypatia, 17(3): 237-250. ◻ Kittay, Eva Feder (1999) Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency. New York and London: Routledge. ◻ Kittay, Eva Feder (1997) ‘Taking Dependency Seriously’.In Patricia DiQuinzio and Iris Marion Young (eds.) Feminist Ethics and Social Policy. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. ◻ Fraser, Nancy (2008) ‘Reframing Justice in a Globalizing World’. In K. Olson (ed.) Adding Insult to Injury: Nancy Fraser Debates Her Critics. London & New York: Verso. ◻ Fraser, Nancy (2009) Scales of Justice. Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World. New York: Columbia University Press. ◻ Held, Virginia (2006) The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political and Global. New York: Oxford University Press. ◻ Nussbaum, Martha and Glover, Jonathan (eds.) (1995) Women, Culture and Development. A study of human capabilities. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ◻ Nussbaum, Martha (1995) ‘Human Capabilities, Female Human Beings’, In Martha Nussbaum and Jonathon Glover (eds.) Women, Culture and Development. A study of human capabilities. .Oxford: Clarendon Press. ◻ Nussbaum, Martha (2000) Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ◻ Nussbaum, Martha. C. (2006) Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Cambridge & London: The Belknap Press. ◻ Nussbaum, Martha ◻ Sen, Amartya Kumar (1984) Resources Values and Development. Oxford: Blackwell. ◻ Sen, Amartya Kumar (1995) ‘Gender Inequality and Theories of Justice’. In Martha Nussbaum and Jonathon Glover (eds.) Women, Culture and Development. A study of human capabilities. .Oxford: Clarendon Press. ◻ Mackenzie,C., Rogers, W. & Dodds, S. (eds.) (2014) Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philoaophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ◻ Sen, Amartya Kumar (2001) Development as Freedom. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. ◻ Sevenhuijsen, Selma (1998) Citizenship and the Ethics of Care. Feminist Considerations on Justice, Morality and Politics. London and New York: Routledge. ◻ Sevenhuijsen, S., and A. Svab. 2003. Labyrinths of Care: The Relevance of the Ethics of Care Perspective for Social Policy. Ljubljana: Mirovni Institute.. ◻ Tronto, Joan (1993) Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. New York & London: Routledge. ◻ Tronto, Joan (2010) Institutional Care. Ethics in Social Welfre (incomplete reference) ◻ Tronto, J. 2012. Democratic caring and global responsibilities for care. Paper presented at the Conference Critical Care, September, Brighton, United Kingdom. ◻ Tronto J. 2013. Caring democracy: Markets, equality, and justice. New York: New York University Press.
  28. 28. Publications on social justice and  Bozalek, V. (2010) The effect of institutional racism on student family circumstances: A human capabilities perspective, South African Journal of Psychology,40(4):487-494.  Bozalek, V. (2012) Recognition and participatory parity: Students’ accounts of gendered family practices. The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher, 24(1):66-84.  Bozalek, V. & Boughey, C. (2012) (Mis)Framing Higher Education in South Africa. Social Policy & Administration, 46(6):688-703.  Bozalek, V. & Carolissen, R. (2012) The potential of critical feminist citizenship frameworks for citizenship and social justice in higher education, Perspectives in Education, 30(4):9-18.  Bozalek, V. & Leibowitz, B. (2012) An evaluative framework for a socially just institution. In B. Leibowitz (ed,) Higher Education for the Public Good: Views from the South. Trentham Books and Stellenbosch: SUN media. pp. 59-72.  Bozalek, V., McMillan, W., Marshall, D., November, M., Daniels, A. and Sylvester, T. (2014) Analysing the professional development of teaching and learning at UWC from a political ethics of care perspective, Teaching in Higher Education, 19(5): 447-458.  Zembylas, M., Bozalek, V. and Shefer, T. (2014) Tronto’s notion of privileged irresponsibility and the reconceptualisation of care: implications for critical pedagogies of emotion, Gender and Education, DOI:  10.1080/09540253.2014.901718 ethics of care

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