So You Say Our Work is Essential: Essential workers, moral injury and “learning to repair” during and after the pandemic

This paper explores the transformative potential of learning in and about essential work in the wake of COVID-19’s social and economic disruption. We ask, what potential does this current moment hold to repair the western social and economic order predicated on the precarity of essential work? We draw on concepts of dirty work (Press, 2021) to critique the economic order. We consider philosophies of the moral (Bolton & Laaser, 2013) and caring (Eisler, 2008) economy and human flourishing (Walker, 2005) to envision an alternative that values and invests in the dignity of all work. We borrow feminist’s notion of repair work (Cassa, et al. 2021, Graziano & Trogal, 2019) that evokes transformational learning in individuals and society, to consider a perspective of “learning to repair” and ways it can enhance transformative learning theory and practice.

Format: Paper Presentation


Ellen Scully-Russ, The George Washington University
Maria Cseh, The George Washington University
Lily Hakimi, The George Washington University
DJ Ralston, The George Washington University
Jerry Philip, The George Washington University
Henriette Lundgren, The George Washington University
Session Date & Time: Wed, 06 Apr 2022 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT