Why does being on the public side of a public-private issue leave a group vulnerable?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Speaking from the broadest of theoretical points of view, I think that groups that levy most of their credit on being with the public side of the debate can be seen as minimizing the importance of the private.  The essence of the "public/ private" debate is one in which there is a fundamental tension between balancing the needs of both realms.  Essentially, both realms are needed.  Social and political orders cannot be seen as successful and enjoying public validation if they are placing primacy on one over the other.  I think that the advocacy of the public at the cost of the private leaves groups susceptible to being seen as devaluing the realm of the private.  This also helps to construct groups being seen as too social, and almost "socialist" in the idea that the public realm is one that dominates everything.  Within such a view, claims of denying choice and personal expression can become evident. This is where groups have to face a challenge in navigating the dynamics of a public and private debate.  In always siding with the public side of the issue, challenges arise.  It is here where I think that groups need to exercise caution and vigilance in when they advocate the public side of the public/ private debate.

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