Caring: Gender-Sensitive Ethics by Peta Bowden

By Peta Bowden

Peta Bowden extends and demanding situations contemporary debates over feminist ethics. during this e-book the writer takes factor with debts of the ethics of care which attempt to pin down the 'principles' of being concerned instead of taking account of being concerned in perform. Her special approach is that being concerned has to be understood through 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 - unearths the complexity of the ethics of being concerned. Gender-Sensitive Ethics is groundbreaking in spotting the ways that moral practices outrun the theories that try to clarify them. will probably be crucial studying for all these operating in philosophy, gender reviews, nursing and the being concerned professions.

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Eschewing explicit discussion of the particular historical conditions and social interconnections of the mothering practices she describes, Ruddick lifts out the apparently essential attitudes and commitments she detects in them to celebrate the possibility of a universal mothering ethos. The effect of this detachment is to isolate the mother–child dyad from some of the significant political social and psychic relations in which it is integrated, and consequently to overlook important aspects of the caring practices and values enacted in the mothering relationships she describes.

12 Following Ruddick, mothers maintain the balance of control in the face of these perpetual risks through a characteristic protectiveness that Ruddick calls ‘holding’. She describes it, rather cryptically, as a relational stance to another that minimizes risks and reconciles differences rather than sharply accentuating them, and goes on to explain that ‘holding is a way of seeing with an eye toward maintaining the minimal harmony, material resources, and skills necessary for sustaining a child in safety’ (MT 78–9).

Rapid conversions, shifts of interests, new loves and sudden hates are part of childhood life, however unsettling they may be for a mother who may wish to count on yesterday’s friendship or passionate ambition’ (MT 89). As a result, mothers’ acceptance of these changes, and welcoming of them by means of their own willingness to change and develop themselves with and through their children’s shifts and turns, are crucial to maternal nurture. And, since ‘welcoming responsiveness to change’ involves uncertainty, once again it is evident that the ethical possibilities of caring are bound up with the delicate balancing of vulnerability and submission, abandonment and domination.

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