Topic: Human Dignity
From The Margaret Mead Symposium: Whither the United States in the World?
Commemorating the centennial of the birth of Margaret Mead.
December 2 & 3, 2001
Sponsors: Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution
Is human dignity a Western concept? Panelists discuss the framing of the dignity, and what Mead had to say about the idea.
The World Looks Up to American Views of Human Dignity
Speaker: Judith Kipper
Director, Middle East Forum, Council on Foreign Relations; Co-Director, Middle East Studies Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, consultant, ABC News
The U.S. is looked up to because within the U.S. human dignity is not reserved for ruling elites, but we don’t discuss human dignity with other countries in fear of offending their leaders, Kipper says.
Speaker: Georges B. Kutukdjian
If human dignity is presented as a Western concept, it will fail, therefore we must find a way to make others feel a sense of ownership over the ideas surrounding dignity, Kutukdjian says. Kutukdjian finds these ideas in Mead’s work, and gives examples.