The moral self, values, and circles of belonging

Mary M. Brabeck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter looks at how some feminists, especially Carol Gilligan, believe that women are more relational than men. These theorists claim that because of their greater concern with relationships, women are guided in their moral judgments by the ethic of care; men are guided by the principle of justice. According to separate-spheres arguments, the public domain of work, achievement, and self-assertion, built on a notion of self as independent and autonomous, was deemed the male sphere, and the private domain of home, care, harmony, and relationships was deemed the female sphere. Gilligan claims that the experiences of inequality and subordination, which circumscribe the lives of women, also give rise to a moral self grounded in human connections and characterized by concerns relationship. Gilligan tried to revalue women by celebrating ways in which they are different from men. Her attempt failed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen's Ethnicities
Subtitle of host publicationJourneys Through Psychology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781000004403
ISBN (Print)9780367213732
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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