The Ethic of Care, Female Subjectivity and Feminist Legal Scholarship
- Maria Drakopoulou
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The object of this essay is to explore the central role played by the ‘ethic of care’ in debates within and beyond feminist legal theory. The author claims that the ethic of care has attracted feminist legal scholars in particular, as a means of resolving the theoretical, political and strategic difficulties to which the perceived ‘crisis of subjectivity’ in feminist theory has given rise. She argues that feminist legal scholars are peculiarly placed in relation to this crisis because of their reliance on the social ‘woman’ whose interests are the predominant concern of feminist legal engagement. With the problematisation of subjectivity, the object of feminist legal attention disappears and it is in attempts to deflect the negative political consequences of this that the ethic of care has been invoked, the author argues, unsuccessfully. The essay concludes with suggestions as to how the feminist project in law might proceed in the wake of the crisis of subjectivity and the failure of the ethic of care to resolve it.
This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.
Allen, H., “One Law for all Reasonable Persons?”, International Journal of the Sociology of Law 16 (1988), 419-432.
Auerbach, J. et al., “Commentary On Gilligan's In a Different Voice”, Feminist Studies 11/1 (1985), 149-161.CrossRef
Baier, A., “What Do Women Want in Moral Theory?”, Nous 19 (1985), 53-63.
Baier, A., “Hume, the Women's Moral Theorist?” in Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Fedder Kittay and D. Meyers (Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 37-55.
Baier, A., “Trust and Antitrust” in Moral Prejudices Essays on Ethics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), 95-129.
Bartlett, K., “Feminist Legal Methods”, Harvard Law Review 100 (1990), 829-888.
Benhabib, S., “The Generalized and the Concrete Other: The Kohlberg-Gilligan Controversy and Feminist Theory”, in Feminism as Critique: Essays on the Politics of Gender in Late Capitalist Societies, ed. S. Benhabib and D. Cornell (Oxford: Polity Press, 1987), 77-95.
Bottomley, A., Gibson, S. and Meteyards, B., “Dworkin, Which Dworkin? Taking Feminism Seriously”, in Critical Legal Studies, ed. P. Fitzpatrick and A. Hunt (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987), 47-60.
Bottomley, A. and Conaghan, J., “Feminist Theory and Legal Strategy”, in Feminist Theory and Legal Strategy, ed. A. Bottomley and J. Conaghan (Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1993), 1-5.
Braidotti, R., “The Subject in Feminism”, Hypatia 6/2 (1991), 155-172.
Brophy, J. and Smart, C. “Locating Law: A Discussion of the Place of Law in Feminist Politics”, in Women in Law: Explorations in Law, Family and Sexuality, ed. J. Brophy and C. Smart (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), 1-20.
Brunt, R. et al., “Sell-out or Challenge? The Contradiction of a Masters in Women's Studies”, Women's Studies International Forum 6/3 (1983), 283-290.CrossRef
Bridgeman, J., “Criminalising the One who Really Cared”, Feminist Legal Studies 6/2 (1998), 245-256.
Butler, J., “Gender Trouble, Feminist Theory, and Psychoanalytic Discourse”, in Feminism/Postmodernism, ed. L.J. Nicholson (London: Routledge, 1990), 324-340.
Caine, P.A., “Feminist Jurisprudence: Grounding the Theories”, Berkeley Women's Law Journal 4/2 (1989), 191-214.
Carty, T., “Post-Modern Law”, in Post-Modern Law, Enlightenment, Revolution and the Death of Man, ed. T. Carty (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990), 1-39.
Clement, G., Care, Autonomy, and Justice (Boulder: Westview Press, 1998), 135 pp.
Collins, P., “Toward an Afrocentric Feminist Epistemology”, in Black Feminist Thought Vol. 2, (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1992), 201-220.
de Lauretis, T., “Feminist Studies/Critical Studies: issues terms and contexts”, in Feminist Studies. Critical Studies, ed. T. de Lauretis (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 1-19.
De Lauretis, T., “The Essence of the Triangle or, Taking the Risk of Essentialism Seriously: Feminist Theory in Italy, the U.S., and Britain”, in The Essential Difference, ed. N. Schor and E. Weed (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 1-39.
Davis, K., “Toward a Feminist Rhetoric: the Gilligan debate revisited”, Women's Studies International Forum 15/2 (1992), 219-231.CrossRef
Dietz, M.G., “Context Is All: Feminism and Theories of Citizenship”, Daedalus 116 (1987) 1-24.
Drakopoulou, M., “Moralità della cura, differenza sessuale e teoria femminista”, Iride 8 (1992), 152-164.
Drakopoulou, M., “Postmodernism and Smart's Feminist Critical Project in Law, Crime and Sexuality”, Feminist Legal Studies V/1 (1997), 107-119.
DuBois, E. et al., Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academy (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1985).
DuBois, E., Dunlap, M., Gillligan, C., MacKinnon, C. and Menkel-Meadow, C., “Feminist Discourse, Moral Values, and the Law-A Conversation”, Buffalo Law Review 34/1 (1985a), 11-87.
Evans, M., “In Praise of Theory”, in Theories of Women's Studies, ed. G. Bowles and R. Duelli Klein (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983), 219-228.
Eugene, T.M., “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child: the Call and Response for a Liberational Ethic of Care by Black Feminists”, in Who Cares? Theory, Research and Educational Implications of the Ethic of Care, ed. M. M. Brabeck (New York: Praeger, 1989), 45-62.
Feder Kittay, E., Love's Labor Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (New York: Routledge 1999), 238 pp.
Finley, L., “Transcending Equality Theory: A Way out of the Maternity and Workplace Debate”, Columbia Law Review 86 (1986), 1118-1182.CrossRef
Fisher, B. and Tronto, J., “Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring”, in Circles of Care: Work and Identity in Women's Llives, ed. E.K. Abel and M.K. Nelson (Albany: University of New York Press, 1990), 35-62.
Flynn, L. and Lawson, A., “Gender, Sexuality and the Doctrine of Detrimental Reliance”, Feminist Legal Studies 3/1 (1995), 105-121.CrossRef
Fox, M., “A Woman's Right to Choose? A Feminist Critique”, in The Future of Human Reproduction, ed. J. Harris and S. Holm (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 77-100.
Frug, M.J., “A Postmodern Feminist Legal Manifesto (An Unfinished Draft)”, Harvard Law Review 105 (1992), 1045-1075.
Gilligan, C., “In a Different Voice: Women's Conceptions of Self and Morality”, Harvard Educational Review 47 (1977), 481-517.
Gilligan, C., In a Different Voice (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982), 184 pp.
Gilligan, C., “Reply”, SIGNS 11/2 (1986), 324-333.CrossRef
Gilligan, C., “Moral Orientation and Moral Development”, in Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Kittay and D. Meyers (Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 19-33.
Gilligan, C., Lyons, N. and Hanmer, T., Making Connections: The Relational Worlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma Willard School (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), 334 pp.
Gilligan, C., “Hearing the Difference: Theorizing Connection”, Hypatia 10/2 (1995), 120-127.
Gilligan, C., et al. Between Voice and Silence Women and Girls, Race and Relationship (Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997), 253 pp.
Grosz, E., “What is Feminist Theory?”, in Feminist Challenges, ed. C. Pateman and E. Gross (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986), 190-204.
Grosz, E., “Feminist Theory and Challenge to Knowledge”, Women's Studies International Forum 10 (1987), 475-480.CrossRef
Grosz, E., “Sexual Difference and the Problem of Essentialism”, in The Essential Difference, ed. N. Schor and E. Weed (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 82-97.
Grbich, J., “Feminist Jurisprudence as Women's Studies in Law: Australian Dialogues”, in Women's Rights and the Rights of Man, ed. A.J. Arnaud and E. Kingdom (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1990), 75-87.
Harding, S., “The Curious Coincidence of Feminine and African Moralities”, in Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Feder Kittay and D.T. Meyers (Totowa NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 296-315.
Harris, A.P., “Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory”, Stanford Law Review 42 (1990), 581-616.CrossRef
Harvey, C.J., “Engendering Asylum Law: Feminism, Process and Practice”, in Feminist Perspectives on Public Law, ed. S. Millns and N. Whitty (London: Cavendish, 1999), 211-243.
Hasse, L., “Legalizing Gender-Specific Values”, in Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Feder Kittay and D.T. Meyers (Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 282-296.
Held, V., “Feminism and Moral Theory” in, Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Feder Kittay and D.T. Meyers (Totowa NJ.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 111-128.
Held, V., Feminist Morality Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993), 281 pp.
Hekman, S.J., Moral Voices, Moral Selves (Oxford: Polity Press, 1995), 188 pp.
Heyes, C.J., “Anti-Essentialism in Practice: Carol Gilligan and Feminist Philosophy”, Hypatia 12/3 (1997), 142-163.
Hilkert Andolsen, B. et al., Women's Consciousness, Women's Conscience (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1987), 310 pp.
Irigaray, L., “Equal to Whom?”, Differences 1/2 (1989), 59-76.
Kaye, M., “Equity's Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Debt”, Feminist Legal Studies V/1 (1997), 35-55.
Kaplan, L., “Woman as Caretaker: An Archetype that Supports Patriarchal Militarism”, Hypatia 9/2 (1994), 123-133.
Kerber, L. et al., “On In a Different Voice: An Interdisciplinary Forum”, SIGNS 11/2 (1986), 304-333.CrossRef
Kingdom, E., “Legal Recognition of a Woman's Right to Choose”, in Women in Law, ed. J. Brophy and C. Smart (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), 143-160.
Kline, M., “Race, Racism and Feminist Legal Theory”, Harvard Women's Law Journal 3 (1989), 115-150.
Kohlberg, L. and Krammer, R., “Continuities and Discontinuities in Childhood and Adult Moral Development”, Human Development 12 (1969), 93-120.CrossRef
Kohlberg, L. and Gilligan, C., “The Adolescence as a Philosopher: The discovery of the self in a postconventional world”, Daedalus 100 (1971), 1051-1056.
Kohlberg, L., “Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach”, in Moral Development and Behaviour: Theory, Research and Social Issues, ed. T. Lickona (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976), 12-41.
Kohlberg, L., The Philosophy of Moral Development (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981).
Komter, A.E., “Justice, Friendship and Care”, The European Journal of Women's Studies 2 (1995), 151-169.
Kroeger-Mappes, J., “The Ethic of Care vis-à-vis the Ethic of Rights: A Problem of Contemporary Moral Theory”, Hypatia 9/3 (1994), 108-133.
Langland, E. and Gove, W., A Feminist Perspective in the Academy (Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1981).
Littleton, C.A., “In Search of a Feminist Jurisprudence”, Harvard Women's Law Journal 10 (1987), 1-7.
Littleton, C.A., “Reconstructing Sexual Equality”, California Law Review 75 (1987a), 1279-1337.
Mackenzie, R., “From Sanctity to Screening: Genetic Disabilities, Risk and Rhetorical Strategies in Wrongful Birth and Conception Cases' Feminist Legal Studies 7/2 (1999), 175-191.CrossRef
Mansbridge, J., “Feminism and Democratic Community”, in Feminist Ethics, ed. M. Gatens (Ashgate: Dartmouth, 1998), 339-395.
Martin, J.R., “Methodological Essentialism, False Difference, and Other Dangerous Traps”, Signs 19/3 (1994), 630-657.CrossRef
McCann, K., “Battered Women and the Law: The Limits of Legislation”, in Women in Law: Explorations in Law, Family and Sexuality, ed. J. Brophy and C. Smart (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), 71-96.
McGlynn, C., “Judging Women Differently: Gender, the Judiciary and Reform”, in Feminist Perspectives on Public Law, ed. S. Millns and N. Whitty (London: Cavendish, 1999), 87-106.
Menkel-Meadow, C.J., “Portia in a Different Voice: Speculations on aWomen's Lawyering Process”, Berkeley Women's Law Journal 1 (1985), 39-63.
Minow, M., Making All the Difference Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990), 403 pp.
Minow, M. and Shanley, M., “Relational Rights and Responsibilities: Revisioning the Family in Liberal Political Theory and Law”, Hypatia 11/1 (1996), 4-29.
Mitchell, J., “Women and Equality”, in The Rights and Wrongs of Women, ed. J. Mitchell and A. Oakley (London: Penguin Books, 1983), 379-399.
Naffine, N., Law and the Sexes: Explorations in Feminist Jurisprudence,(Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1990), 1770 pp.
Noddings, N., Caring: A Feminist Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 216 pp.
Noddings, N., Women and Evil (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989).
Olsen, F., “Statutory Rape: A Feminist Critique of Rights Analysis”, Texas Law Review 63/3 (1984), 387-432.
Pankhurst, E., Speech from the Dock, 21st October 1908.
Piaget, J., The Moral Judgement of the Child (New York: The Free Press, 1932/1965), 418.
Rich, A., “The Dream of a Common Language”, in Poems 1974-1977 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978).
Rifkin, J., “Towards a Feminist Jurisprudence”, Harvard Women's Law Journal 3 (1980), 83-95.
Riley, D., Am I That Name? (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 126 pp.
Ruddick S., “Maternal Thinking”, Feminist Studies 6/2 (1980), 342-367.CrossRef
Ruddick S., “Remarks on the Sexual Politics of Reason”, in Women and Moral Theory, ed. E. Feder Kittay and D.T. Meyers (Totowa NJ: Rowman & Littlefield, 1987), 237-260.
Ruddick S., Maternal Thinking Towards a Politics of Peace (London: The Women's Press, 1989), 297 pp.
Sandland, R., “Between 'Truth' and 'Difference'?: Poststructuralism, Law and the Power of Feminism”, Feminist Legal Studies 3/1 (1995), 1-47.CrossRef
Scales, A.C., “The Emergence of Feminist Jurisprudence: An Essay”, Yale Law Journal 95 (1986), 1373-1403.CrossRef
Scott, J.W., “Deconstructing Equality versus Difference: Or the Uses of Postructuralist Theory for Feminism”, Feminist Studies 14/1 (1988), 33-50.CrossRef
Sevenhuijsen, S., “Fatherhood and the Political Theory of Rights: Theoretical Perspectives of Feminism”, International Journal of the Sociology of Law 14 (1986), 329-340.
Sevenhuijsen, S., “Justice, Moral Reasoning and the Politics of Child Custody”, in Equality Politics and Gender, ed.W. Meehan and S. Sevenhuijsen (London: Sage, 1991), 88-103.
Sevenhuijsen, S., Citizenship and the Ethics of Care (London: Routledge, 1998), 198 pp.
Sheridan, S., “Feminist Knowledge, Women's Liberation, and Women's Studies”, in Feminist Knowledge, ed. S. Gunew (London: Routledge, 1990), 36-55.
Smart, C., The Ties that Bind (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), 273 pp.
Smart, C., Feminism and the Power of Law (London: Routledge, 1989), 180 pp.
Smart, C., “The Woman of Legal Discourse”, Social and Legal Studies 1 (1992), 29-44.
Smart, C., Law, Crime and Sexuality: Essays in Feminism, (London: Sage Publications, 1995).
Smart, C. and Neale, B., “Good Enough Morality: Divorce and Postmodernity”, Critical Social Policy 17/4 (1997), 3-27.
Smart, C. and Neale, B., Family Fragments? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999), 222 pp.
Spender, D., Men's Studies Modified: The Impact of Feminism on the Academic Disciplines (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981).
Spivak, G., “Criticism, Feminism and the Institution”, Thesis Eleven 10/11 (1984), 175-188.
Stang-Dahl, T., Women's Law: An Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
Stubbs, M., “Feminism and Legal Positivism”, Australian Journal of Law and Society 3 (1986), 63-91.
Thornhill, E., “Focus on Black Women”, Canadian Journal of Women and Law 1 (1985), 153-175.
Thornton, M., “Feminist Jurisprudence: Illusion or Reality?”, Australian Journal of Law and Society 3 (1986), 5-29.
Tronto, J.C., “Care as Basis for Radical Political Judgement”, Hypatia 10/2 (1995), 141-149.
Tronto, J.C., Caring for Democracy: A Feminist Vision (Utrecht: Universiteit voor Humanistiek, 1995a).
Tronto, J.C., Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (London: Routledge, 1993), 226 pp.
Vogel, L., “Debating Difference: Feminism, Pregnancy, and the Workplace”, Feminist Studies 16/1 (1990), 9-32.CrossRef
Walker, L., “Sex Differences in the Development of Moral Reasoning: A Critical Review of the Literature”, Child Development 55/3 (1984), 677-691.CrossRef
Wallbank, J., “Returning the Subject to the Subject of Women's Poverty”, Feminist Legal Studies 3/2 (1995), 207-221.CrossRef
West, R., “The Difference in Women's Hedonic Lives: A Phenomenological Critique of Feminist Legal Theory”, Wisconsin Women's Law Journal 3 (1987), 81-145.
West, R., “Jurisprudence and Gender”, The University of Chicago Law Review 55/1 (1988), 1-72.CrossRef
Wightman, J., “Intimate Relationships, Relational Contract Theory, and the Reach of Contract”, Feminist Legal Studies 8/1 (2000), 93-131.CrossRef
Wiskik, H., “To Question Everything: The Enquiries of Feminist Jurisprudence”, Berkeley Women's Law Journal 1 (1986), 64-77.
- The Ethic of Care, Female Subjectivity and Feminist Legal Scholarship
Feminist Legal Studies
Volume 8, Issue 2 , pp 199-226
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- academic feminism
- crisis of subjectivity
- ethic of care
- feminist legal scholarship
- relational jurisprudence
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Kent Law School, Eliot College, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NS, UK