A Good Life: Human Rights and Encounters With Modernity by Mary Edmunds

By Mary Edmunds

This booklet is a narrative. It’s a narrative approximately traditional humans in very varied elements of the area facing quick swap within the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries. It’s approximately instances of turbulent and violent social upheaval and rupture with the earlier. It’s approximately sleek occasions. It’s additionally approximately being human; what it truly is to be human in a modernising and globalising global; how, in responding to the situations in their occasions, diverse teams outline, redefine, and try to positioned into perform their understandings of the nice and of what constitutes an exceptional existence. And it’s approximately how human rights have emerge as now not summary common ideas yet a pragmatic resource of cognizance and perform for actual humans. Drawing at the author’s adventure as an anthropologist, the e-book examines diverse teams over the past 3 many years of the 20 th century and the 1st years of the twenty-first: Thai manufacturing facility employees over a interval of 2 coups within the Seventies; Spanish nuns within the Nineteen Eighties, within the aftermath of the second one Vatican Council and the top of the Franco dictatorship; Aboriginal humans within the distant Pilbara quarter of Western Australia facing the influence of overdue colonialism and strikes in the direction of self-determination, from the Nineteen Eighties to the current. every one of those teams has its personal tales, illuminating ways that, regardless of the attack of modernisation on deeply held conventional ideals and practices, specific cultural understandings and practices proceed to form people’s responses to their novel situations. The very range of the experiences provided within the ebook increases essentially the most compelling ethical and social questions of our time and invitations the reader, either educational and lay, to target what it truly is that makes us human; no matter if there are human universals in addition to cultural particularities; even if human rights supply common norms and practices; what unites in addition to divides us; and the place morality, and understandings of a great existence, could be sourced in a mundane sleek global. “This is a publication approximately desire, the wish that we've got how one can reside jointly in a speedily altering global with a purpose to allow us to ‘live an outstanding existence within the glossy world.’” Hon. Fred Chaney AO.** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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Extra resources for A Good Life: Human Rights and Encounters With Modernity

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Tradition and transformation in a noncolonised state: Spain The Spanish study in Chapters 4 and 5 deals with an order of Catholic teaching nuns in the aftermath of the changes initiated by the Roman Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and by the political and social changes leading up to and following the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975. All the nuns articulated their choice of the religious life in terms of ‘vocation’, the calling by God, not just to a good life, but to a better life.

The common thread in all my subsequent research has been the impact of social change, in the form of modernisation, on traditional groups. The questions have focused on the meaning of people’s everyday lives, how ordinary people experience the often extraordinary events of their time, what human groups have in common, but also, and crucially, how culture shapes but does not determine the ways in which people respond to change. My assumption is that, by examining the various ways in which different groups respond to and invest meaning in their new situations, we can learn something important, not just about each particular group, but about what humans have in common and about the human condition.

The case studies will make clear that this is the situation for other groups. Religious belief is not in necessary opposition to an assertion of common humanity based in the secular humanism of modernity; the two can coexist and indeed complement each other. But religious belief does not, of itself, provide a sufficient moral framework to encompass the multiplicity of belief systems and cultures in the modern world. Modernity displaces the hegemony of religious belief with a privileged role for reason and, by extension, for rationality in engaging with the world; humans knowingly reliant on their own devices and meanings.

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