• Children and the Feminist Ethic of Care.

      Cockburn, Thomas D. (2005)
      This article looks at the recent contributions made by feminists who advocate a distinctive `ethic of care¿ to replace the conventional `ethic of rights¿. The article explores ways in which the ethic of care could be utilized and applied to the children¿s rights context. After looking at the important feminist criticisms of conventional rights-based approaches, it is argued that there needs to be some caution applied to the feminist ethic of care, if it is to be successfully applied to the context of children. These cautions are that it is important to recognize the contested nature of care and not to valorize the perspectives of carers over those being cared for. Second, the feminist ethic of care might lead to a `needs-based¿ discourse, an approach that is unsatisfactory in its implications for children¿s rights. Finally, conceptions of justice and equality must not be dropped from political arguments. Rather, their limitations must be acknowledged and then used strategically and partially. However, despite these cautions, the feminist ethic of care remains a constructive approach to the children¿s rights context as it emphasizes responsibilities and relationships, the concrete contexts of caring interdependencies, and allows children to be active social players with a voice rather than passive recipients of care and rights. It is hoped that this article might serve as both a corrective and conceptual enrichment of the feminist ethic of care.
    • Mothering and ‘insider’ dilemmas: feminist sociologists in the research process

      Cooper, L.; Rogers, Chrissie (2015-05)
      This paper is about care, insider positions and mothering within feminist research. We ask questions about how honest, ethical and caring can we really be in placing the self into the research process as mothers ourselves. Should we leave out aspects of the research that do not fit neatly and how ethical can we claim to be if we do? Moreover, should difficult differences, secrets and silences that emerge from the research process and research stories that might 'out' us as failures be excluded from research outcomes so as to claim legitimate research? We consider the use of a feminist methods as crucial in the reciprocal and relational understanding of personal enquiry. Mothers invest significant emotional capital in their families and we explore the blurring of the interpersonal and intrapersonal when sharing mothering experiences common to both participant and researcher. Indeed participants can identify themselves within the process as 'friends' of the researcher. We both have familiarity within our respective research that has led to mutual understanding of having insider positions. Crucially individuals' realities are a vital component of the qualitative paradigm and that 'insider' research remains a necessary, albeit messy vehicle in social research. As it is we consider a growing body of literature which marks out and endorses a feminist ethics of care. All of which critique established ways of thinking about ethics, morality, security, citizenship and care. It provides alternatives in mapping private and public aspects of social life as it operates at a theoretical level, but importantly for this paper also at the level of practical application.
    • Peace, War and Gender in the Modern Era

      Pankhurst, Donna T. (2019-03-19)
      The practices and conceptions of peace and war have been highly gendered throughout world history. Indeed, the defining of genders has often itself been rooted in ideas and experiences of war and violence, with men as warriors, and women as the embodiment of peace. It is certainly the case that throughout human history the majority of war combatants have been men. By contrast many women have used their gendered identities, as mothers and guardians of life, in their activism in global peace movements, and in peacemaking at very local levels all over the globe. These gendered experiences of women and men have resonance everywhere in the world, but are also stereotypes. As well as being warriors and the bearers of violence, men have also resisted dominant social pressures to fight, and been active in movements to build peace. Women have also cajoled men, and socialised boys, to fight, and shamed those who did not. Thus, whereas a focus on the stereotypes suggests that the differences between women and men are due to their violent or peaceful natures, paying attention to the full range of behaviour of women and men makes it self-evident that these differences cannot be explained by biological differences alone, because they are so varied. Nonetheless, the roles played by women and men that go beyond the simple stereotypes are persistently regarded as transgressive or insignificant in many cultures, making it difficult to keep the broader picture in mind. That is not to say that gender differences are not significant however; gender remains one of the most important lenses through which to understand war and peace.