A question of ethics : a responsibility to care : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This thesis draws upon both traditional and feminist care literature as well as psychoanalytic theory to inform a reading practice that addresses the following questions: How does a feminist ethics of care represent the best interests of women? Feminist literature theorises the context of knowledge production as a discursive site where the capacity for care within mother and daughter relationships can only be represented within historically patriarchal cultural prescriptions. In this context the representation of an 'ethics of care' continues to be theorised within the paradigm of a nuclear family setting and a liberal knowledge based economy (KBE). How are women's best interests to be interpreted within this theoretical framework? The reading practice draws upon the feminist psychoanalytic writings of Luce Irigaray to consider a woman's responsibility to care, the significance of mother/daughter relationships and a feminist ethics of care within a contemporary global economy that places a greater emphasis on home care, amid the changing face of traditional families and an increasing 'presence' of women within the public domain.