A Decent and Civil Society? Professional Responsibility and Partnerships in Higher Education

Monday, March 27, 1 p.m.- 2:30 p.m., CS 101

A Decent and Civil Society? Professional Responsibility and Partnerships in Higher Education

C. Kreber: “The Idea of a ‘Decent Profession’: Implications for Professional Education”

Recent years have witnessed a surge of studies examining the scope of professional responsibility. Building on these efforts, this conceptual inquiry explores the extent to which Martha Nussbaum’s notion of a ‘decent society’, grounded in the premises of equal respect for persons and different conceptions of the good, and thus aspiring to afford all its members a threshold of capabilities that allow for a good life, could usefully inform the idea of a ‘decent profession’ and professionals’ role in contributing to social justice. The first aim is to develop a theory-based rationale for the claim that a ‘decent profession’ is one that strives for capability expansion, thereby identifying capability expansion as a professional ideal. Accepting Nussbaum’s argument that our rational ideals require appropriate emotions to be sustained, the second aim is to outline how this professional ideal may be promoted in higher education through public art and symbols employed to cultivate these emotions. 

A. Vainio-Mattila: “Performativity of ‘civil society’ in development”

Arja’s talk will be an introduction to her work building partnerships that support higher education development in Tanzania through research on civil society, participation and gender. The focus of her work has been theoretically the performativity of civil society in development applied to how marginalized groups are affected by strategies borne out of this discourse.

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