The Glossary contains an alphabetically ordered list of terms useful to the understanding of ethics in a gendered perspective.
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Placing moral emphasis on the maintenance of community, relationality, and intimacy, this ethical principle shifts between responsibility and self-sacrifice, care of the self and care for others. The precedence of care in women’s ethical principles is not necessarily a choice or a positive adaptation to the social world; care dominates in part due to the traditional expectations placed on women.
Associated with the rise of emphasis on “difference” as a guiding principle in feminist theory, Carol Gilligan descries the “readiness with which difference becomes deviance and deviance becomes sin in a society preoccupied with normality.” Feminist politics before the 1970s generally demanded the equal rights of women within institutions and practices controlled by men. Gilligan and her peers argued for the import of gender difference in revolutionizing such institutions and leveling competition. Their argument was not intended to be essentialist as it attended to the social conventions that constructed such differences as much as it recognized physical diversity.
This measure of moral development moves from conventional adherence to social and legal codes toward post-conventional, autonomous ethical reasoning based on “universal principles” such as a human rights and the precedence of persons over property. The scale measures maturity by stages in moral thought.
Noting the frequency with which empirical and objective research methods in the social sciences repeated the biases and patterns of domination in their social worlds, feminist researchers proposed alternative methods to produce more balanced results, or “socially-situated knowledge” that recognizes its cultural context without reproducing its social biases. With slogans such as "start thought from marginalized lives" and "take everyday life as problematic," this methodology has become a defining principle within feminist research (and particularly in the social sciences) that argues for the precedence of perspectives omitted in traditional research. The methodological claim began with the insistence on women's views as a point of departure for research, and has become increasingly intersectional in its practice.
The title concept of voice only emerges explicitly in the second edition of Carol Gilligan’s book though it is implicitly a major methodological principle throughout the volume. In her letter to readers in 1993, Gilligan emphasizes voice as a concept that spans the futile nature/culture debate in gender theory and gives particularity to gender difference. Voice is her term for perspective or point of view, for interiority and self-knowledge, and for ways of speaking (both rhetorically and audibly): “It is composed of breath and sound, words, rhythm, and language.” She associates voice with the physicality of sound, the psychology of emotion, and the cultural inheritance of language and rhetoric.