Friday, May 4, 2012

Fielding student Beckey Sukovaty publishes chapter in Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth & Mothering: Maternal Subjects

On Stepmothers as Hybrid Beings & World Travelers: Toward a New Model for Care-full Ethics -- Beckey Sukovaty

Sukovaty maintains that the roles and relationships stepmothers occupy are undertheorized, underappreciated, and often misunderstood; in the stepmothering role and relations, we find...a home for a new model of an ethics of care. Fueled by the inspiration she finds in Mara Lugones' work on "world"-traveling, loving perception, and responsible playfulness and in Simone de Beauvoir's concept of joy...Sukovaty argues that stepmothers, rather than being seen as evil interlopers, should be acknowledged as occupying an advantageous position from which to develop the sort of loving perception that can significantly contribute to a child's flourishing.... Informed by theorizing about stepmothers, an ethics of care can be more easily extended to encompass voluntarily assumed caring relationships.... Drawing on Eva Feder Kittay's work on "distributed mothering," Sukovaty pushes for an ethics of care that emphasizes equality, justice, interdependence, and lived various kinds of relationships of various degrees of intimacy.

Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth & Mothering: Maternal Subjects. Sheila Lintott & Maureen Sander-Staudt, eds. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Philosophical inquiry into pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering is a growing area of interest to academic philosophers. This volume brings together a diverse group of philosophers to speak about topics in this reemerging area of philosophical inquiry, taking up new themes, such as maternal aesthetics, and pursuing old ones in new ways, such as investigating stepmothering as it might inform and ground an ethics of care. The theoretical foci of the book include feminist, existential, ethical, aesthetic, phenomenological, social and political theories. These perspectives are then employed to consider many dimensions of pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering, which are of central importance to human existence, but are only rarely discussed in philosophical cannons. Topics include pregnancy and embodiment, breast-feeding, representations -- or the lack thereof -- of pregnant and birthing women, adoption, and post-partum motherhood.

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