Rethinking obligation : a feminist method for political theory /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Hirschmann, Nancy J.
Imprint:Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1992.
Description:xi, 365 p. ; 24 cm.
Format: Print Book
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ISBN:0801423090 (cloth : alk. paper)
0801495679 (paper : alk. paper)
Notes:"Portions of this book appeared earlier in article form in the American political science review"--Pref.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

Traditional liberal theory posits a political community to which individuals are obligated by consent. By uncovering the contingent and structural sexism inherent in liberal theorists, both historical and contemporary, Hirschmann demonstrates that such a conception of obligation is deeply flawed. She uses object relations theory, especially the work of N.J. Chodorow and C. Gilligan, to identify the structural problems of obligation as inherent in the dichotomy between ontology and epistemology. She synthesizes the work of many feminist theorists as she provides a framework for a more inclusive conceptualization of obligation, an obligation based on participation, communication, and interpersonal relationship. Attentive throughout to postmodern critics, Hirschmann concludes with an argument for a postmodern feminism as opposed to the impossibility of a feminist postmodernism. Avoiding the dangers of modernism's totalism and postmodernism's nihilism, recognizing potential weaknesses in her argument, usefully drawing on the strengths of previous analyses, Hirschmann gives us much to talk about from this well-written treatise. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty. C. Shrewsbury; Mankato State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review