Beyond the Culture of Contest

Michael Karlberg is a professor in the Department of Communication at Western Washington University. He completed his Ph.D. in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. His research examines the struggle to create a more just and sustainable social order in an age of increasing global interdependence.

Our reproductive and technological success as a species has transformed the conditions of our own existence. The defining characteristic of the age we now live in is global interdependence. Within this context, the prevailing culture of contest is proving unjust and unsustainable. In order to move beyond this culture of contest we need to debunk the myths that perpetuate it. Then we need to exercise constructive agency on three fronts: the education and empowerment of individuals, the construction of radically new institutional forms, and the development of organic modes of community life. But this constructive agency will only be effective if it is informed by a culture of purposeful and systematic learning on each of these fronts. 

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Beyond the Culture of Contest