Courage and Compassion in the striving for authenticity: States of complacency, compliance and contestation

Carolin Kreber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Synthesising Martha Nussbaum's study of the emotions and the capabilities approach to human development with Charles Taylor's claim that authentic identities ought to be constructed dialogically against "horizons of significance," the author identifies critical features of authenticity that are then applied to the context of adult educators, learners, and pedagogies. With the purpose of surfacing the context-transcendent structure underlying the experience of struggling for authenticity, the article takes as its point of departure the context of coming out about one's sexual orientation. The metaphor of "coming out" is subsequently extended to the process of striving for authenticity also in other contexts. This striving involves overcoming complacency and compliance and engaging in contestation, has both a psychological and sociological dimension, and is associated with the civic virtues of courage and compassion. The author also speculates on why authenticity is perceived as a timely notion by many adult and higher education professionals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-198
    Number of pages22
    JournalAdult Education Quarterly
    Volume60
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

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