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PRAGMATISM, GROWTH, AND DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP

Author: Wesley C DempsterDonald M CallenJames CampbellAlbert W DzurKevin VallierAll authors
Publisher: [Bowling Green, Ohio] : Bowling Green State University, 2016.
Dissertation: Dissertation (Ph.D.) Bowling Green State University 2016.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : State or province government publication : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
This dissertation defends an ideal of democratic citizenship inspired by John Dewey’s theory of human flourishing, or “growth.” In its emphasis on the interrelatedness of individual development and social progress, Deweyan growth orients us toward a morally substantive approach to addressing the important question of how diverse citizens can live together well. I argue, however, that Dewey’s understanding of growth  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Wesley C Dempster; Donald M Callen; James Campbell; Albert W Dzur; Kevin Vallier; Montana Miller; Bowling Green State University,; OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center.
OCLC Number: 952477329
Notes: Available online via OhioLINK's ETD Center.
Description: 1 online resource (viii, 177 pages)
Responsibility: by Wesley C. Dempster.

Abstract:

This dissertation defends an ideal of democratic citizenship inspired by John Dewey’s theory of human flourishing, or “growth.” In its emphasis on the interrelatedness of individual development and social progress, Deweyan growth orients us toward a morally substantive approach to addressing the important question of how diverse citizens can live together well. I argue, however, that Dewey’s understanding of growth as a process by which conflicting interests, beliefs, and values are integrated into a more unified whole—both within the community and within the self—is inadequate to the radical pluralism characteristic of contemporary liberal democratic societies. Given the pragmatist insight into the crucial role of socialization in identity formation, the problem with conceptualizing the ideal self as an integrated unity is that, for many, the complexity and diversity of our social world presents an insuperable obstacle to sustaining a unified (or always unifying) self. Most of us have multiple “selves” forged by the various groups with whom we identify and the often incongruous roles we play in our personal, professional, and/or public lives. Hence I offer a reconstruction of Deweyan growth that accounts for persistent yet positively valued diversity, both within the self and within the community. On the view I urge, which draws on the work of neopragmatist Richard Rorty and Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldua, divisions within the self and between citizens are not merely problems always to be overcome, but potential resources for creating a stronger, more inclusive democracy.

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