Recent literature portrays caring as a psychological, social, and ethical orientation associated with female gender identity. This essay focuses on Giliigan's influential view that “care” is a broad theme of moral development which is under-represented in dominant theories of human development such as Kohlberg's theory. An alternative hypothesis is proposed portraying care development as a set of circumscribed coping strategies tailored to dealingwith sexism. While these strategies are practically effective and partially “liberated,” from the moral point of view, they also (...) reflect the debilitating influences of sexist socialization even at the highest level. Gilligan and her colleagues seem to misidentify these inadequacies of mature care. This alternative hypothesis is briefly related to the critical and feminist tradition. Then it is supported with Gilligan's own research and interpretive text. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Moving Apart On First Reinterpretation The Real: From the Mouths of Babes … and Dudes Reconnecting and Misconnecting Keeping at Arm's Length Aristotelian Trauma Talking Sexy Graphic Sex The Ideal The Arts of Distance Loving The Last Word.