A Tradition That Has No Name: Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities

By Mary Field Belenky; Lynne A. Bond et al. | Go to book overview

N O T E S

INTRODUCTION: OTHERNESS AND SILENCE
1.
Words printed in uppercase letters indicate the interviewer's comments and questions. Some quotes from interviews we conducted have been edited to preserve the meaning of verbatim speech. The names of participants of the Listening Partners program and some facts have been altered to protect the women's identities.
2.
We use the terms white, black, and people of color because these phrases are used by many of the people we interviewed to describe themselves and their counterparts. We understand these terms to suggest different cultural communities, not fixed biological entities as implied by conventional but unscientific notions of race. To suggest the ambiguous nature of these concepts, we have chosen to use lowercase letters. A similar notion about cultural communities undergirds our thinking about gender differences. When we speak of women's ways of knowing, maternal thinking, maternal practice, and women's leadership traditions (as we often do), we refer more to the cultural achievements of women than to the biology of their sex. Women's ability to create public homeplaces and nurture the development of people, families, and communities is rooted in the work of raising up the most vulnerable members of society, generation after generation, throughout human history. Even though biology contributes to the ways in which many social roles are assigned to men and women, we believe that these roles and abilities grow out of engaged practice more than biology. We are quite certain that men are as capable as women of developing similar approaches. Indeed, many have.
3.
Omolade and many other African American women use "womanist" to distinguish their approach from "feminist" visions more common among European Americans. (See Walker, 1983.)

CHAPTER 2: CONFRONTING OTHERNESS: PREVIOUS RESEARCH
1.
In Women's Ways of Knowing this outlook was named "silence." We have taken the liberty of changing it to "silenced." The added "d" helps distinguish this way of knowing from the approaches others have observed in several non- Western cultures ( Goldberger, 1996), where silence gives rise to powerful modes of connecting with and apprehending the world that do not depend on language.

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