The Illusion of the Individual
In social discourse, individualism typically has a negative connotation and for the right reasons - individualist dogma is both a catalyst and a perpetuator of numerous social ills. But the individual can also be a symbol of radical progressive change, and the collective a symbol for conformity. Basically, the notion of the individual is a more paradoxical and complex notion than it is generally assumed to be. Drawing from examples around the globe as well as from feminist thought, this session will venture beyond the binary to thinking about the individual and the collective in ways that deepen our understanding of kinship and social transformation.
This course is part of Week 4 of the KINSHIP Online Course. In Week 4, we dive into The Individual.
We will be exploring the role of the individual in relation to kinship. This week is unique in that there is a sense of “going against the grain”. Many narratives around community and kinship have suggested that the notion of the individual is to blame for the collapse of healthy relationships. It is true that the individualism peddled by capitalism has wreaked havoc. However it is the “ism” that has caused harm, not the individual. In fact, attempts to erase the sacredness of the individual create immense harm. When people feel that they are not seen, and that their needs don’t matter, harm tends to follow. We will explore how cultivating a healthy sense of our individuality allows us to become responsible in relationship - to ourselves and to others. Can we have kinship with our own souls and selves? Nuance is key here - because we are both individuals and we are not. It is a “both/and” situation.