Melissa Bradford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 22 Mar 2001 11:04:36 -0600
Marko wrote the following:
>Some norms that I consider totally irrational are e.g. following:
- "to achieve better results and to be more efficient, people should
- "boys shouldn't cry"
- "girls should look pretty"
- "nobody should be fat"
- "it is a sign of weakness to show emotions"
- "people of same sex shouldn't get too close to each other"
- "sex is dangerous"
- "emotions aren't rational"
- "unanimous decision making isn't possible" =)
- "guilty people should be punished"
- "everything will go fine if the economy is fine"
- "I'm not responsible of what my brother does"
and so on...
>I think the staff should make every effort to fight against these kind
of irrational norms, because it's the people in the environment who
create the atmosphere of freedom, not the environment itself.
Alan, you wrote this:
> 2. He [Marko] has never said that he has some sort of unique "ability to
> which cultural norms are irrational". Nor has he said that staff members
> should exhibit undue influence. In fact, I hear him saying something much
> like you did when you said, "I think staff should freely express their
> opinions if the subject comes up and their opinions are welcome. Staff
> wield a great deal of influence..."
Alan, perhaps Marko is not saying he can determine which cultural norms are
irrational, or that staff should exhibit undue influence. Based on the
above, it seemed like he was. If it is an incorrect interpretation, then I
appeciate the clarification.
You also wrote:
> I think you are onto an important distinction when you say, "It should be
> personal choice, not an institutional choice, and if staff are fighting
> they believe are 'irrational cultural norms' I believe they are acting
> inappropriately on behalf of the institution and infringing on students'
> rights to self-determination." I believe that all members of the SM have
> same right to self-determination, so I do not differentiate students from
> staff in this regard. Of course, if staff members ticks off the SM enough,
> for fighting irrational cultural norms or for whatever, the SM will vote
> them out. I do not see staff members as having any institutional power.
> SM and the Assembly are the holders of the institutional power.
I completely agree that all members of the SM have the same right to
self-determination. I also agree that SM and the Assembly are the holders
of institutional power, not the staff. But staff are employees of the
institution, and, as such, are viewed as respresentatives of the school in
ways that students are not. Staff are *hired* to act on behalf of the
school, whereas students are there to act on behalf of themselves, as long
as that does not entail harming the school or others.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 29 2001 - 11:17:20 EST