From individual choice to social good
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 13:51 authored by Hazel R. Wright
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how individual choice, and the facilitation of individual choices, can be of benefit to society. To do this it selects evidence from a much broader research project that set out to study the student experience of a group of 33 women training to work in childcare (selected from a cohort of 150). Design/methodology/approach – The project employed an emergent methodology, as the researcher sought to draw out the student voice. Psychosocial interviews created detailed narratives that were analysed individually, thematically and holistically to support original theorization that was later linked to Sen's Capability Approach. Findings – In terms of this paper, the significant finding was that the pursuit of individual goals can create public good. Individual actions can lead to unplanned social payback. Social implications – In revealing some of the mechanisms that promote social cohesion and social capital development the research supports people-centred policy-making. By adopting the capability approach as a policy framework and granting people the freedom to choose, governments can create social good by enabling rather than determining individual choice. Originality/value – In evidencing the way that individual choice can promote social good, the research findings create confidence that society can evolve positively without an overarching masterplan. The research is linked to contemporary problems within society and suggests that, sometimes, indirect approaches offer solutions.
Publication titleHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
- Accepted version