chapter  Chapter 8
8 Pages

Dignity, indignity and the anger of a valuable self

WithChris Steed

In modernity, dignity is cherished as a fundamental human right; the focus of our thinking about law and human rights. Dignity has a strong part to play in formulations of poverty. The idea of dignity as the foundation for the universal entitlement to human rights represented the coming together after the Second World War of two extremely powerful traditions: Christian theology and Kantian philosophy. Human agency involves an ability to manipulate or use discourse and narrative and place ourselves in the driving seat. The same strategy is in constant evidence when the internal territory of the human psyche is surveyed. Psychiatrists at the Harvard Medical School measured how the careers of 824 individuals had progressed in relation to their personality profiles and copy strategies. Those who expressed frustrations tactfully and constructively were less likely to complain they had hit a glass ceiling.