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close this bookThe Self and the Other: Sustainability and Self-Empowerment (WB, 1996, 76 p.)
close this folderDevelopment and the self
close this folderPanel discussion
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe self and the other: A developmental framework
View the documentParenting and child development
View the documentPeace education
View the documentSocial development perspectives
View the documentDiscussion


In the panel discussion chaired by Afaf Mahfouz, the focus fumed from exploration of external influences on the development of the self in relation to the other to a greater emphasis on the psychological factors affecting this development.

Providing a general framework for the discussion, Antoine Hani traced the development of the self from birth to adulthood and defined the crucial developmental milestones that determine the level and quality of relating between the self and the other. A mature level of relating confronts one's own prejudice or hatred, enhances the quality of giving, and is most likely to lead to sustainable development.

In her discussion of issues related to gender, Susan G. Lazar pointed out the effects of gender-role expectations and gender inequality on the development of societies. She drew a parallel between the perception that men are entitled to enjoy greater privilege than women at the level of the nuclear family and the assumption that certain cultures are superior to other cultures and are therefore entitled to dominate them.

Henri Parens emphasized the importance of parenting education in promoting the development of better-adjusted children. He called particular attention to the need for parents to understand and deal with aggression that their children exhibit to prevent them from engaging in violent behavior as they approach adulthood.

Betty Reardon focused on peace education. This kind of education not only teaches people to deal with conflict constructively but also nurtures a positive relationship between the self and the other and helps people understand that differences can be enriching in the presence of our common humanity. She pointed out the importance of parenting education in enhancing education for peace.

Gloria J. Davis explained the attempts of the Environment Department of the World Bank to formulate a social policy to frame its development projects, and she called on seminar participants to make suggestions concerning the best way to achieve such a policy. The policy envisioned fosters equity, including gender equality; enlists participation of a wide range of people in development planning, including the poor; and takes into account the institutional and cultural contexts of various societies when selecting and carrying out projects.