Essay: Nussbaum’s alternative to patriotic education

Sample Essay

Nussbaum considers the generally perceived definition of patriotism to be one that is fairly stereotyped and one that merits replacement. Nussbaum highlights that patriotism need not always be one in which the nation outshines others or celebrates its victories over others but can also be one in which the nation celebrates its people instead of its physical boundaries (Nussbaum, 1994). Nussbaum asserts that patriotism should not be limited to the borders of a country but should be centered on the practice of belonging to the country. Nussbaum through examples of individual perceptions on nationalism shows how it is necessary to realize that teaching border constricted patriotism will never allow the child to function as part of a highly diverse modern day society.

It can therefore be observed that Nussbaum attempts to discourage the education system from teaching patriotism that is confined to the borders of the nation. Nussbaum asserts that there is a strong need to realize the concept of a nation through a global perspective (Nussbaum, 1994). Citing examples such as those of the ancient Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes, Nussbaum suggests that students are taught to respect different cultures and to acknowledge that there is nothing to prevent them from living as one society.

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