Creating Caring Organizations and Cultures through Communitarian Ethics

By Marilyn Anne Ray.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The growing responsibility of our global age is to appreciate the meaning of community in a postmulticultural global society. The central tenet of the new sciences of complexity illuminates the interconnectedness of all things--all complex phenomena including human person are “tied together” in time and space. Globalization highlights the importance of networks of relationship primarily through social, linguistic, economic and technological relationships, the interpersonal, material and virtual communities or the personal and the mutual meaning of community. This sense of belongingness calls for a new moral communitarianism focused on human caring and virtue ethics, and justice. Scholars in universities often have been involved with the generation and the dissemination of knowledge of humans and nature as opposing forces, irrational or constricting, or the reduction of most data to mere statistical order. In a complex world, scholars must point the way to rehabilitating the human will, the rebirth and recovery of dignity, integrity, spirituality, and the illumination of transculturality-- “relational” self-organization. Creating a communitarian caring ethics based upon first, understanding the symbolic construction of community as atomistic, organic-functional, and virtual, and then capturing community as personal-mutual will facilitate understanding of humanity not in terms of race, culture, or nation but in terms of communitas and caritas (love and caring). Communitarian ethics that values humans in authentic relation to God, self, others, and the universe for the purposes of facilitating choices for problem solving, healing, health, and well-being takes up the challenge of Socrates, that what we are discussing is no small matter but how we ought to live (Socrates in Plato’s Republic, ca. 390 BCE, Rachels, 2003).

Keywords: Globalization, Postmulticulturalism, Complexity Sciences, Belongingness, Atomistic, Organic-Functional, Virtual and Personal-Mutual Model of Community, Transcultural Caring, Communitarian Caring Ethics

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 611.754KB).

Dr. Marilyn Anne Ray

Professor Emeritus, The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

Since my academic degrees in cultural anthropology, transcultural nursing, certificates in ethics and transcultural nursing, and studies in the sciences of complexity, and human caring, I have been dedicated to teaching, conducting research, and service in varied complex organizations, universities, hospitals, and health care systems to facilitate awareness, education, understanding, problem solving, and improvement of patient,client/student/administrator outcomes. I have completed a book in 2010, “Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care” using a model with numerous case studies describing and analyzing the interrelationship of the essence of caring, transcultural caring ethics, transcultural context (complex systems and cultures), and universal sources (religions/spirituality) to facilitate choices wtihin dynamic transcultural and global communities for healing, health, and well-being. I am co-editing a book with a colleague on “Complexity, Caring and Choice for Human Environment Well Being” to facilitate problem solving in complex organizations in local and global communities. Transcultural caring and communitarian ethics have been the foundation for much of the work and institution-building that I do to help improve the health and well being and working life of diverse people in complex systems.


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