Social Commensurability Summary

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The Commensurability of Different Vulnerability
Imam Subkhan

One of the chief argument from The Pastoral Clinic is that an ethic of care among the heroin addicts in Española Valley are possible emerge from a common and shared vulnerability. Garcia argues that the common experience of vulnerability of addicts in everyday life is the principle of commensurability in which become basis for an ethic of care such as in the form of watchfulness. She claims that ‘watchfulness’ is able “to offset forms of alienation that accompany addiction” and eventually opens up “the possibility of being together” which Garcia called “the very heart of social commensurability” (182).

At this point I would like to raise some reflections: how social commensurability
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Although it is clear that all addicted people are addicts, it is not equally clear that all addicted people are vulnerable, even if it is true that the addicts may be vulnerable. Is vulnerability caused by heroin use, or is there some other underlying mechanism that explains its relation to the individual? Garcia in the Pastoral Clinic seems make generalization that all addicts are vulnerable due to the historical process of dispossession and displacement in Española Valley. Following Levine (2004), ". . . the concept of vulnerability stereotypes whole categories of individuals, without distinguishing between individuals in the group who indeed might have special characteristics that need to be taken into account those who do not". In addition, Garcia also fall into the notion of naturalizing vulnerability that is natural to be vulnerable, and that all human is vulnerable. If we are all vulnerable and vulnerability we all share, there is no need to avoid or to protect …show more content…
Luna argues that the concept of vulnerability should be understood relatively and dynamically. She uses the metaphor of a layer to comprehend a vulnerability which “may be multiple and different, and that may be removed layer not a solid and unique vulnerability that exhausts the category; be different vulnerabilities, different layers operating” (Luna, 2009). The idea of layers of vulnerability gives flexibility of vulnerability. From the narratives of Peter, Alma, Joseph, Bernadette, Eugenia, Pauline, Michael in Pastorial Clinic we see that although all the addicts and their family are vulnerable, each of them has different vulnerability in the sense that they have their own subjective and historical experience respectively. In short, by this concept, we are able to seek the commensurability without avoiding the incommensurability of the different

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