On Narrative and Human Rights

On Narrative and Human Rights How does narrative affect, and how is it affected by, the development and promotion of human rights? This article analyzes three schools of thought: (1) sympathetic narratives have, over significant arcs of time, cultivated our sensibilities, expanded our range of felt moral responsibility, and fundamentally altered the social function of empathy; (2) sympathetic narratives fail to promote human dignity because they allow the experience of emotional response to substitute for the experience of moral responsibility; and (3) neither of these general claims is useful; instead we should track the cultural functions of particular narrative forms in specific legal/organizational contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development University of Pennsylvania Press

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
2151-4372

Abstract

How does narrative affect, and how is it affected by, the development and promotion of human rights? This article analyzes three schools of thought: (1) sympathetic narratives have, over significant arcs of time, cultivated our sensibilities, expanded our range of felt moral responsibility, and fundamentally altered the social function of empathy; (2) sympathetic narratives fail to promote human dignity because they allow the experience of emotional response to substitute for the experience of moral responsibility; and (3) neither of these general claims is useful; instead we should track the cultural functions of particular narrative forms in specific legal/organizational contexts.

Journal

Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and DevelopmentUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jan 28, 2014

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