57 Carol Gilligan
A Different Voice
When Carol Gilligan was a graduate student, she began to realize that too much research was happening where the voices and experiences of women was not being studied, regarded, or considered. One study in particular only used male subjects in its attempt to look at human ethical and moral development. As she did her own research, something that might be obvious to some, but was seldom articulated, became clear to her.
Women make many of their choices in ways that attempt to protect and preserve relationships that they consider important. In Gilligan’s studies it became clear that there were strong morals and principles in women’s lives, as in the lives of men, but there were also strong emotional connections that were considered vital to the ethical decision making process of women. This emphasis on relationships was a bit different than men’s usual emphasis on principles and rules. It was a different kind of voice.
The concept of women’s voices and experiences needing to be heard is becoming much more central in our world in the 21st century. There are movements, marches, even laws that are changing our regard for and treatment of women. This movement for women’s rights and voices has been happening for centuries, obviously, as women gained power in being able to own property, pick their own life partners, gained the ability to vote and run for office, changed what they could wear and the jobs that they could hold.
So this concept of a Different Voice is illuminating, in that it offers a study, through many interviews, of women’s intentions, motivations and goals.
A Different Voice–hearing from Carol Gilligan from Makers, a PBS and AOL initiative.