Link to jeanne's Birdie Calendar Towards Humanist Teaching in an Adversarial Environment

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Transforming Discourse

Henry and Milovanovic Index

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 28, 2001
Latest update: March 29, 2001

Humanism as a Path to Agency

This essay is based on Humanist Teaching Methods in a Corporate Environment Presented at the Association for Humanist Sociology Conference, Pittsburgh, November 7, 1997. Heidi Allene Henrickson, Sociology Instructor, Park College, Austin, Texas.

Transforming discourse involves stimulating the imaginary to come up with alternatives that permit us to realize mutuality goals within the limitations of dominant discourse. Heidi Allene Henrickson's paper, on the TR Young site, provides a wonderful example. By practicing mutuality and caring within the confines of a corporation that seeks

Discussion Questions
  1. In what ways do the following rules of conduct reflect an adversarial setting?
    "Other rules of conduct include not doing the following: eating in front of students, bringing drinks into theclassroom, sitting during class instruction, criticizing anything, discussing your job with clients, reading from notes, courseware, or manuals."

    jeanne's notes on one plausible answer:

    Status, formal distance, formalization.

  2. What kinds of strategies does Heidi Henrickson use to transform the dominant discourse of her work environment?

    jeanne's notes on one plausible answer:

    • Demeanor

      Soft and loose clothing for both comfort and for the softness of humanizing the environment.

      Clogs to replace uncomfortable heels. Allowing her to focus more on humanizing the environment.

    • The first 90 minutes

      Self presentation. (Erving Goffman) Present a certain warmth and eagerness. Once the tone is set, it helps to carry through warmth and awareness of the "other."

    More to come . . . jeanne, March 29, 2001.