Privacy and the Politics of Intimate Life


Patricia Boling investigates the implications of privacy for feminist theory and legal philosophy, examining issues rooted in intimate life which have broad public impact. She draws on Hannah Arendt's work and ordinary language analysis to identify confusions in the way we think about public and private. She then uses the insights she has developed to illuminate issues in contemporary politics, such as the problem of transforming private identities into political ones in the ?outing? of lesbians and gay men. Another such issue is the relevance of the private experience of nurturing small children to the political activity of the citizen. Evenly divided between theoretical and issue-oriented discussion, this book makes clear the practical stakes in both the distinction and the connection between private and public. Boling considers how to translate private experience into public claims with regard to such contentious issues as shared parenting, abortion funding, fetal abuse, sodomy laws, and parental consent for minors seeking abortions. She also analyzes the application of privacy in landmark legal cases including Roe v. Wade, Bowers v. Hardwick, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Ithaca, NY
Publication year:
  • 1996


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