Developing political compassion through narrative imagination in human rights education

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.4482

Abstract

This paper argues that political compassion is a necessary disposition for engaging with human rights principles and combatting social injustices such as racial discrimination. Drawing from Martha Nussbaum’s theory of political emotions, the paper concentrates on the need to understand compassion as connected to cognition and practical reasoning. Moreover, the paper offers suggestions of how to educate towards political compassion in human rights education (HRE) through Nussbaum’s notion of narrative imagination. To capture the multiperspectival and partial dimensions of HRE, the paper further employs the work of critical HRE scholars and emphasises the importance of counter-narratives and reflective interpretation of narratives. Refined by critical considerations, Nussbaum’s work on compassion and narrative imagination provides a new and important perspective for understanding the relation between human rights, emotions and social justice in the context of contemporary HRE theory and practice.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

Abrams, K. (2011). Emotions in the mobilization of rights. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 46, 551-589.

Adami, R. (2014). Re-thinking relations in human rights education: The politics of narratives. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 48, 293-307. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9752.12063

Adkins, K. (2020) ‘We will march side by side and demand a bigger table’: Anger as dignity claim. Global Discourse, 10(2-3), 191¬-210. https://doi.org/10.1332/204378919X15746664403506

Ahmed, S. (2014). The cultural politics of emotion (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Andrews, M., & Bamberg, M. G. W. (2004). Considering counter narratives: Narrating, resisting, making sense. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/sin.4

Arendt, H. (1963/2016). On revolution. London: Faber & Faber.

Barreto, J.M. (2006) Ethics of emotions as ethics of human rights: A jurisprudence of sympathy in Adorno, Horkheimer and Rorty. Law Critique, 17, 73-106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10978-006-0003-y

Barreto, J.M. (2011) Rorty and human rights: Contingency, emotions and how to defend human rights telling stories. Utrecht Law Review, 7(2) 1-20. https://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.164

Barton, K. (2020). Students’ understanding of institutional practices: The missing dimension in human rights education. American Educational Research Journal, 57(1), 188-217. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831219849871

Barton, K. & Ho, L.C. (2020). Cultivating sprouts of benevolence: A foundational principle for curriculum in civic and multicultural education. Multicultural Education Review, 12(3), 157-176. https://doi.org/10.1080/2005615X.2020.1808928

Bhabha, H. J. (2003). On writing rights. In M. Gibney (Ed.), Globalizing rights: The Oxford Amnesty lectures (pp.162-183). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press

Bell, M. (2009). Anger, virtue, and oppression. In L. Tessman (Ed.), Feminist ethics and social and political philosophy: Theorizing the non-ideal (pp. 165-183). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6841-6_10

Berlant, L. G. (2004). Compassion: The culture and politics of an emotion. Abingdon: Routledge.

Boler, M. (1997). Disciplined emotions: Philosophies of educated feelings. Educational Theory, 47(2), 203-227. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-5446.1997.00203.x

Butler, J. (2004). Precarious life: The powers of mourning and violence. London: Verso

Carr, D. (2005). On the contribution of literature and the arts to the educational cultivation of moral virtue, feeling and emotion. Journal of Moral Education, 34(2), 137-151. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240500127053

Cherry, M. (2019). Love, anger, and racial Injustice. In A. M. Martin (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of love in philosophy (pp. 157-168). New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315645209-14

Connelly, F.M. & Clandinin, D.J. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational Researcher, 19(5), 2-14. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X019005002

Flanagan, O.J. (1992). Consciousness reconsidered. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/2112.001.0001

Flowers, N. (2017). Afterword. In M. Bajaj (Ed.), Human rights education (pp. 317–334). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812293890-015

Goldschmidt-Gjerløw, B. (2019). Children’s rights and teachers’ responsibilities: Reproducing or transforming the cultural taboo on child sexual abuse? Human Rights Education Review. 2(1), 25-46. http://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.3079

Hammond, M & Sue, J. (2014). Introduction. In M. Hammond & J. Sue (Eds.), Rethinking empathy through literature (pp.1-20) New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315818603

Jollimore, T., Barrios, S. (2006). Creating cosmopolitans: The case for literature. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 25, 363–383. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-006-9005-3

Kaplan, A. (2005). Trauma culture: The politics of terror and loss in media and literature. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Keet, A., & Zembylas, M. (2019). Critical human rights education. Advancing social-justice-oriented educational praxes. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27198-5

Kitayama, Y. & Hashizaki, Y. (2018). From pity to compassion: The ethics of care and human rights education. Human Rights Education in Asia-Pacific, 8, 269-284. Retrieved from https://www.hurights.or.jp/archives/asia-pacific/section1/From%20Pity%20to%20Compassion.pdf

Lee, H. (1960/1997). To Kill a Mockingbird. London: Arrow Books.

Linde, R., & Arthur, M. M. L. (2015). Teaching progress: A critique of the grand narrative of human rights as pedagogy for marginalized students. Radical Teacher, 103, 26-37. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2015.227

Lister, R. (1997). Citizenship: Feminist perspectives. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-26209-0

Moeller, S. (1999). Compassion fatigue: How the media sell disease, famine, war, and death. New York: Routledge.

Mouffe, C. (2005). On the political. London and New York: Routledge.

Mäkelä, M. (2018). Lessons from the dangers of narrative project: Toward a story-critical narratology. Tekstualia 4(1), 175-186. https://doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0013.5160

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring, a feminine approach to ethics & moral education. University of California Press.

Nussbaum, M. (1990/1992). Love's knowledge: Essays on philosophy and literature. New York: Oxford University Press.

Nussbaum, M. (1996). Compassion: The basic social emotion. Social Philosophy and Policy, 13(1), 27-58. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0265052500001515

Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating humanity: A classical defense of reform in liberal education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvjghth8

Nussbaum, M. (2001). Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511840715

Nussbaum, M. (2006). Frontiers of justice: Disability, nationality, species membership. Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1c7zftw

Nussbaum, M. (2007). Human rights and human capabilities. Harvard Human Rights Journal, 20, 21–22.

Nussbaum, M. (2010). Not for profit: Why democracy needs the humanities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nussbaum, M. (2013). Political emotions: Why love matters for justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Nussbaum, M. (2018). The monarchy of fear: A philosopher looks at our political crisis. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Ojala, M. (2016). Facing anxiety in climate change education: From therapeutic practice to hopeful transgressive learning. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 21, 41-56.

Osler, A. (2015). Human rights education, postcolonial scholarship, and action for social justice. Theory & Research in Social Education, 43(2), 244-274, https://doi.org/10.1080/00933104.2015.1034393

Osler, A. (2016). Human rights and schooling: An ethical framework for teaching for social justice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Pedwell, C. (2014). Affective relations: The transnational politics of empathy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Presser,L. (2018). Inside story: Why narratives drive mass harm. Oakland: University of California Press. https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520964471

Rorty, R. (1998). Human rights, rationality and sentimentality. In R. Rorty, Truth and progress: Philosophical papers, 3, 167-185. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625404.010

Ruitenberg, C. (2009). Educating political adversaries: Chantal Mouffe and radical democratic citizenship education. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 28(3), 269-281. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-008-9122-2

Schaffer K. & Smith S. (2004). Conjunctions: Life narratives in the field of human rights. In K. Schaffer & S. Smith (Eds.), Human rights and narrated lives (pp. 13-33). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781403973665_2

Schuman, A. (2005). Other people’s stories: Entitlement claims and the critique of empathy. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press

Srinivasan, A. (2018). The aptness of anger. Journal of Political Philosophy, 26(2), 123-144. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopp.12130

Tryggvason, Á. (2017). The political as presence: On agonism in citizenship education. Philosophical Inquiry in Education. 4(3), 252-265. https://doi.org/10.7202/1070610ar

United Nations General Assembly. (2011). Universal Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. A/RES/66/137. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/Training/Compilation/Pages/UnitedNationsDeclarationonHumanRightsEducationandTraining(2011).aspx

Weber, A.K. (2018). The pitfalls of “love and kindness”: On the challenges to compassion/pity as a political emotion. Politics and Governance, 6(4), 53-61. https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i4.1393

Westen, D. (2007). The political brain: The role of emotion in deciding the fate of the nation. New York: Public Affairs.

Zembylas, M. (2012). Pedagogies of strategic empathy: Navigating through the emotional complexities of antiracism in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 17, 113-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2011.611869

Zembylas, M. (2013). The “Crisis of Pity” and the radicalization of solidarity: Toward critical pedagogies of compassion. Educational Studies, 49(6), 504-521. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131946.2013.844148

Zembylas,M, Charalambous, P. Charalambous, C. & Lesta, S. (2017). Toward a critical hermeneutical approach of human rights education: Universal ideals, contextual realities and teachers’ difficulties. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 49(4), 497-517. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2016.1188156

Downloads

Published

2021-10-29

How to Cite

Pyy, I. (2021). Developing political compassion through narrative imagination in human rights education. Human Rights Education Review, 4(3), 24–44. https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.4482

Issue

Section

Research articles

Cited by