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Between Femininity and Feminism

Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives on care by: Kanchana Mahadevan

This book delves into the contribution of feminist thinkers to examine their transformation of the activity of philosophy itself in the course of its contact with the feminine. Feminist philosophy brings about a greater awareness of philosophy’s relation to history, culture and other disciplines. There exists a struggle between femininity and feminism in the philosophical corpus of feminist thinkers with reference to the concept of care.

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ISBN: 9788124607305
Year Of Publication: 2014
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxvi, 286p.
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Foreword By : Veena Poonacha
Size: 23
Weight: 700

Overview

This book engages with the contribution of feminist thinkers to examine their transformation of the activity of philosophy itself in the course of its contact with the feminine. It also portrays how the feminist philosophy brings about a greater awareness of philosophy’s relation to history, culture and other disciplines. The author vividly puts into limelight the struggle between femininity and feminism in the philosophical corpus of feminist thinkers with reference to the concept of care. She takes pioneering feminism during the colonial period as its starting point and moves to its second wave during the post-colonial period to examine the trajectory of the concept of care.
Women do not form a homogeneous category. Therefore, this volume explores the extent to which Ramabai, Wollstonecraft, Okin, Gilligan and de Beauvoir can dialogue with the contemporary women. The relationship between these thinkers and their arguments is conceptually connected. The book addresses a few questions such as what is femininity, can one define feminine at all, how does a feminist feminine differ from a patriarchal feminine, can male philosophical frameworks be employed in feminist directions, among others.
The book also investigates the shifts from the colonial to post-colonial periods in the feminist approaches to care. It examines the possibility of integrating feminine care with the political concepts of justice and autonomy. An added task of intervening in the conceptual categories of Western feminism in an attempt to blur the strict binary between the Indian and Western traditions, is also explored.

Contents

Foreword – Veena Poonacha
Preface
Acknowledgement
Introduction: Philosophizing as Women
Part 1
Colonial Perspectives
1. Pandita Ramabai and Feminism in Colonial India: Tradition, Modernity and Domestic Nurture
The Construction of Indian Womanhood
Ramabai’s Feminist Voice
Women in Indian Philosophy
2. Feminine/Feminist Gestures in Colonial England: Mary Wollstonecraft
British Radicalism, Critique of Empire and Female Manners
Intersecting Spaces: “Entangled” and “Embattled”
Female Ancestry
Part 2
Postcolonial Contexts, Perspectives
3. The Ethics of Care: Carol Gilligan
Critique of Mainstream Ethics
The Perspective of Care
Care in Patriarchal and Colonial Contexts
4. Integrating Justice and Care: Susan Okin
Justice and Family: Critique of Rawls
A Feminist Reinterpretation of Rawls
Gender Justice: Liberalism and the Family
5. Rethinking Freedom and Care: Simone de Beauvoir
The Disquietitudes of Individualist Freedom
Relational Freedom, Embodied Situation and Ambiguity
Reproductive Freedom in Global Contexts
Afterword: Towards Global Feminisms
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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1964
Kanchana Mahadevan is Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai. Her teaching and research interests in philosophy include ethics, hermeneutics, critical theory, gender studies and political theory. She has published various papers in journals and anthologies on these themes.
Books of Kanchana Mahadevan