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Ethics of Care

  • By: D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Early or traditional care perspectives viewed what is referred to as women's “ways of knowing”—how women perceive themselves and approach the world—as emerging from both women's care giving of and attentiveness to others, especially tending to the physical needs of children.

Articulations of the Ethics of Care

Feminist scholars have articulated the ethics of care, particularly in Carol Gilligan's 1982 book In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development; Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule's 1985 book Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice and Mind; and Nel Noddings's 1984 book Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. All three publications focus on “women's ways of knowing” and the subsequent moral decisions that follow. Feminist ...

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