Dorothy Lee Social Structure

806 Words4 Pages
Shad Burnett
Student Number: 214376016

Lee’s analysis of the conflict between personal autonomy and social structure

Dorothy lee, an anthropologist, states and explores the central problem with modern society. Through several examples, she gives insight on various child rearing practices; she illustrates how the Navaho Indians encourage respect for one’s sheer personal being and how that act is a solution for the conflict between personal autonomy and social structure.
Lee considers the central problem with modern society to be the conflict between personal autonomy and the social structure as well as the lack of value for sheer personal being. She makes her concern clear “in some societies we encounter a conception of individual autonomy and democratic procedures which far outstrip anything we have practiced… It is only the latter kind which concerns me here” (Lee,26)
Keeping a healthy balance between personal autonomy and social structure has become a key problem in modern society. In the extract Dorothy Lee illustrates how tedious it is to get these two relatively broad areas in compliance with each other. Everyone has the ability and right to act upon his or her own free will while in society’s conformity to achieve a greater good. Lee illustrates just how important human dignity is while showing how that everyone has a right and an obligation to play an essential part of society. She distinguishes the differences from a holistic outlook in the eyes of an individual
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