Dr Rachel Mathieson invited to be panellist at Emory University’s virtual workshop: Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative

The online workshop will be hosted by Emory University and takes place across Friday 12 and Saturday 13 March 2021.

“The workshop seeks to look at the status of workers in a corporate system, considering how corporations have changed from grudgingly addressing human vulnerability within a capitalist scheme of wage labour, to increasing rejection of the very idea that human vulnerability should be a matter of corporate concern” states the event page.

The event abstract positions the concepts of vulnerability theory, the employment relationship, and the State which are the key themes of the workshop: “vulnerability theory identifies the human condition as one of universal and constant vulnerability. That vulnerability is managed and mediated through the creation of social institutions and relationships. As part of the state mechanism for distributing social goods and ensuring society’s welfare, those institutions ultimately can and should be judged by how responsive they are to human vulnerability.”

Dr Mathieson, Research Fellow in the School of Education, will be a panellist alongside eight other scholars from institutions across the United States and Australia. Dr Mathieson’s contribution will focus on the experiences of teachers in schools and colleges in the UK.

“Increasing marketisation of education, and the neoliberal approach to individual responsibility and accountability, are leaving teachers short of organisational support, and teachers are finding themselves targeted or blamed for individual failings or lack of professionalism defined and measured by the institution for which they work. Teaching unions often have to make recourse to protected characteristics such as disability or gender to secure any protection for individual teachers” explains Dr Mathieson.

The session delivered by Dr Mathieson will explore how a vulnerability perspective, which identifies the human condition as one of universal and constant vulnerability, managed and mediated through social institutions and relationships, could help with understanding need to develop resilience through community, rather than individuality.