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(2000) Feminist phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer.

Autonomy and connectedness

Mary Jeanne Larrabee

pp. 267-292

In her ground-breaking discussion of women's lives, Carol Gilligan (1982) claimed that there is a second "voice" within adult moral reasoning. According to Gilligan, this voice indicates a central connectedness which functions as an organizing principle for moral and other decisions. She connected this voice with a sense of self that emphasizes relationships with other people rather than formal rules. In an explication of Gilligan's idea of self, Nona Lyons (1988, 33) terms the two senses of self the "connected self" and the "separate/objective self"; the former is described as interdependent in relation to others, the latter is autonomous in relation to others. This characterization of two selves aligns in an interesting way with traditional stereotypes of culturally appropriate ways of being female and male in patriarchal cultures generally: males are to be autonomous, developing a separate self, while females are to remain connected or "nonautonomous."

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-9488-2_15

Full citation:

Larrabee, M.J. (2000)., Autonomy and connectedness, in L. Fisher & L. Embree (eds.), Feminist phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 267-292.

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