Women's ways of knowing : the development of self, voice, and mind / Mary Field Belenky ... [et al. ; with a new preface by the authors].
Contributor(s): Belenky, Mary Field.Material type: TextPublisher: New York : BasicBooks, 1997Edition: 10th anniversary ed.Description: xxix, 256 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0465090990 (pbk.); 9780465090990 (pbk.).Subject(s): Women -- United States -- Psychology | Women -- Education -- United States | Self-actualization (Psychology) | Feminism -- United States | Knowledge, Theory ofDDC classification: 305.4
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|Book||University of Texas At Tyler Stacks - 3rd Floor||HQ1206 .W88 1997 (Browse shelf)||Available||0000001492305|
Originally published: 1986.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -247) and index.
Introduction: To the other side of silence -- 1. The ways of knowing. Silence -- Received knowledge : listening to the voices of others -- Subjective knowledge : the inner voice -- Subjective knowledge : the quest for self -- Procedural knowledge : the voice of reason -- Procedural knowledge : separate and connected knowing -- Constructed knowledge : integrating the voices -- 2. Development in context : families and schools. Family life and the politics of talk -- Toward an education for women -- Connected teaching -- Appendix A: Interview schedule -- Appendix B: Educational dialectics.
This volume offers new and useful understandings of the epistemology (methods and basis) of the development of women's knowledge. From interviews with 135 women (mostly privileged college students), the authors determine five learning "perspectives" that characterize "women's way of knowing." The authors looked for patterns in the responses they received, and were able to draw together a concept of how women deal with knowledge. The authors identified five different "ways of knowing" that women utilize. The first one addressed is given the name of "silence." By "silence" the authors do not mean an absence of speech, but rather a state of being intellectually voiceless. They do not see themselves as beings capable of receiving or retaining knowledge, and are therefore subject to the control of those around them. The second way of knowing discussed is termed "received knowledge." Received knowers believe themselves able to learn from others, and even to pass on what they have learned, but they do not see themselves as capable of independent, original thought. The authors identify both silent women and received knowers as dualists. They see things in terms of black and white, right and wrong, and one of the two is always seen as superior to the other. "Subjective knowers" do realize that they have the ability to formulate knowledge for themselves, and rely on a strong inner voice with which they develop their thoughts. They believe all knowledge to be subjective, and every person's opinion to be equally valid, though applicable only to that person. They recognize that there are shades of gray and that one answer to a problem may not be better than another. "Procedural knowers," which might also be called objective knowers, base their development of knowledge solely on objective, scientific procedures. They distrust as fallible any sort of "gut instinct" that the subjective knowers rely so heavily on. Procedural knowers are also multiplists, however, in that they recognize that there may be more than one "right" answer in a particular situation. This way of knowing is identified as more masculine, and that which tends to be advocated in traditional educational institutions. The last way of knowing is referred to as "constructed knowing." These women see all knowledge as contextual, and rely on both subjective and objective methods to arrive at "truth."
Despite the progress of the women's movement, many women still feel silenced in their families and schools. Based on in-depth interviews with 135 women, this volume explains why they feel this way.