The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom by Nancy Hirschmann (Paperback, 2002)
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- DescriptionThis book reconsiders the dominant Western understandings of freedom through the lens of women's real-life experiences of domestic violence, welfare, and Islamic veiling. Nancy Hirschmann argues that the typical approach to freedom found in political philosophy severely reduces the concept's complexity, which is more fully revealed by taking such practical issues into account. Hirschmann begins by arguing that the dominant Western understanding of freedom does t provide a conceptual vocabulary for accurately characterizing women's experiences. Often, free choice is assumed when women are in fact coerced--as when a battered woman who stays with her abuser out of fear or ecomic necessity is said to make this choice because it must t be so bad--and coercion is assumed when free choices are made--such as when Westerners assume that all veiled women are oppressed, even though many Islamic women view veiling as an important symbol of cultural identity. Understanding the contexts in which choices arise and are made is central to understanding that freedom is socially constructed through systems of power such as patriarchy, capitalism, and race privilege. Social rms, practices, and language set the conditions within which choices are made, determine what options are available, and shape our individual subjectivity, desires, and self-understandings. Attending to the ways in which contexts construct us as subjects of liberty, Hirschmann argues, provides a firmer empirical and theoretical footing for understanding what freedom means and entails politically, intellectually, and socially.
- Author BiographyNancy J. Hirschmann is Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Rethinking Obligation: A Feminist Method for Political Theory and coeditor of Revisioning the Political: Feminist Reconstructions of Traditional Concepts in Western Political Theory and Women and Welfare: Theory and Practice in the United States and Europe .
- PrizesWinner of Victoria Schuck Award 2004.
- Author(s)Nancy Hirschmann
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication03/09/2002
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight457 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine17 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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