THE PARADOX OF THE INDIVIDUAL

Janet Newbury

Abstract


With the rise of neo-liberalism has come the assumption that the individual is the locus of action. Paradoxically, our heightened focus on the (generic) individual has led to universalized notions of individuality, sifting out of view the particular dimensions of experience that differentiate us from one another, rendering each (unique) individual invisible. In this article, the dynamics through which social processes are being increasingly individualized are called into question, and alternative constructions are offered. When subjectivity and ethics are reconceptualized, new paths for ethical engagement as non-unitary subjects begin to emerge. These are taken up in relation to human service practices, and some collectively-oriented approaches to practice are presented.


Keywords


contextualize, ethics, human service practices, individualism, neo-liberalism, subjectivity

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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