I am astonished that this will be the first review of this book on this website. There are 25 on Amazon.com, and that doesn't seem very many for what I think is one of the most important books of our time. I say 'our time', it was published 27 years ago. Gilligan's work is constantly referred to in the literature of family therapy, but I find very rarely actually discussed. Perhaps this is because that while she is quoted by feminists she is not an aggressive feminist but her ideas are of great significance. She has far more to say about the differences between men and women than any other writer I have come across.
Her idea is that Freudian and other theories of human development are basically derived from studying the male. Women are raised (mostly) by a same sex parent and therefore the story of their development is one of collaboration not one of identity through separation. This is why women construct moral dilemmas in terms of compassion rather than in terms of non-interference, in terms of connection rather than deduction. Gilligan presents this not as an attack on Freud, whom she clearly owes a lot to, but more saying 'Hey, you missed a bit! (lot)'.
She goes on to say that when women talk about issues, problems, their analysis may be seen as woolly or inconsequential in a world where the male discourse predominates. They may even internalise this opposition and drown in self-doubt.
Gilligan also notices a progression of female analysis of moral dilemmas which moves on from self-sacrifice to others to an approach which starts from taking care of the self, a more true connectedness.
This book made we gasp several times because its insights seem so fundamental. How come no-one talks about it?
In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development MP3 CD – MP3 Audio, 3 July 2018
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- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1978641079
- ISBN-13 : 978-1978641075
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