Download Caring: Gender-Sensitive Ethics by Peta Bowden PDF

By Peta Bowden

Peta Bowden extends and demanding situations contemporary debates over feminist ethics. during this booklet the writer takes factor with debts of the ethics of care which try and pin down the 'principles' of worrying instead of taking account of worrying in perform. Her new angle is that worrying needs to be understood by way of operating via examples. Gender-Sensitive Ethics explores 4 major worrying practices: mothering, friendship, nursing and citizenship. Bowden's attention of the variations and similarities in those operating practices - their various levels of intimacy and reciprocity, formality and informality, vulnerability and selection - finds the complexity of the ethics of worrying. Gender-Sensitive Ethics is groundbreaking in spotting the ways that moral practices outrun the theories that try to clarify them. it will likely be crucial interpreting for all these operating in philosophy, gender stories, nursing and the being concerned professions.

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Example text

For Ruddick this sort of contradiction is normalized either as part of the difficult territory of mothering or as a struggle identified by a maternal ideal like ‘authenticity’ or ‘proper trust’; for Rossiter the contradiction signals the power of patriarchal social constructions in constituting her mothering practices and constraining their possibilities. 44 Analyses of individual maternal virtues and vices along the lines of Ruddick’s work are overturned by Rossiter’s assertion that her ‘own experiences taught me that it wasn’t me, with my knowledge of myself and my babies, that organized my life’.

As a consequence, that isolation and responsibility, and the economic, social and psychological difficulties they raise for its participants, remain unexamined. Ruddick’s ‘singling out’ of a particular set of ethical concerns and commitments as characteristic of mothering practices, without adequate attention to their social constitution, seriously distorts their ethical possibilities for both mothers and children. IV A central theme of this book is that the kind of enabling and constraining condition of theoretical processes demonstrated in Ruddick’s account of mothering can be readdressed by working through an array of examples of different theoretical approaches.

Second, and intimately connected with this notion of primacy there is the perception that mothering relationships express, at least symbolically, a way of mattering to another that represents something of an archetype for caring. Seen as the functionally necessary and natural realm of affection and love, enduring and unconditional openness, and responsiveness to the particular material, emotional and social needs of another person, mothering frequently carries the full weight of ideological constructions of caring.

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