Knowledge, Difference, and Power: Essays Inspired by Women's Ways of Knowing

Knowledge, Difference, and Power: Essays Inspired by Women's Ways of Knowing

Knowledge, Difference, and Power: Essays Inspired by Women's Ways of Knowing

Knowledge, Difference, and Power: Essays Inspired by Women's Ways of Knowing

Synopsis

"Ten years ago, Mary Belenky, Blythe Clinchy, Nancy Goldberger, and Jill Tarule wrote Women's Ways of Knowing, a book the New York Times Book Review called "a framework for future research on women, knowledge, and identity." In the decade that followed, their theory of women's psychology, development, and ways of knowing has been applied in several fields, from the social sciences to the humanities, women's studies, education, psychology, and law. But even as it was embraced by readers, Women's Ways of Knowing also became the center of a fierce debate within academic circles. Now, in fourteen illuminating new essays, the original authors and invited contributors explore how the theory introduced in Women's Ways of Knowing has developed and shifted over the years and how it has been received, applied, used, and abused. The authors, and others, respond to critics of the original theory. The essays also expand the original argument beyond gender and knowing to address the complicating factors of race, class, and culture." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Ten years ago, my colleagues -- Mary Belenky,Blythe Clinchy,Jill Tarule -- and I introduced a theory of women's psychology, development, and ways of knowing in our coauthored book Women's Ways of Knowing (WWK). One by-product of WWK's publication and its subsequent positive reception was the interest in the nature of our collaboration it triggered: How did four people write together, think together? What about feelings of territoriality? Did we never disagree or get angry -- or, heaven forbid, become competitive? Weren't the ideas really attributable to individuals? Who really wrote which chapter?

Indeed, as we four worked together, we marveled at how ideas grew as we talked and listened to one another. On our own, by ourselves, the ideas often seemed elusive. They sprang to life once we sat down to talk. In the writing of WWK, we were determined to speak in a single voice, an exercise that was difficult but in the end successful, we thought. Throughout the writing, we kept in mind the metaphor of a chorus of voices that was to sing the story we wanted to tell; there were to be no solos. Such a cooperative approach to inquiry and authorship was transformative for all of us. We began to refer to our method as "pajama-party model scholarship" to emphasize the fact that we worked by meeting and working in our homes days at a time, laughing, arguing, and eating together. When it came time to turn our manuscript over to the publisher, we anguished over how we could communicate the truly collabo-

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