Inferior, superior or just different? A woman's sense of justice in Carmen de Burgos's El abogado

LOUIS, Anja (2005). Inferior, superior or just different? A woman's sense of justice in Carmen de Burgos's El abogado. Hispanic Research Journal, 6 (1), 13-27.

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It has been a common philosophical contention that women have an inferior sense of justice. Women were considered naturally incapable of developing a sense of justice, since they would always put private life before the public good. It has only been as recently as 1982 that Carol Gilligan offered a rebuttal of centuries of 'knowledge' about women's sense of justice. In her ground-breaking book, In a Different Voice, Gilligan supplies empirical evidence to suggest that women's moral reasoning is not inferior but simply different from men's. Using Gilligan's theory as my theoretical framework, in this article I will examine how her opposing concepts of the ethic of care versus the ethic of rights manifest themselves in Carmen de Burgos's novella El abogado (1915), in which a single mother sues the father for alimony of her child. I will argue that while the heroine's moral behaviour is obviously superior to that of her ex-lover, as well as that of her lawyer, her moral reasoning, in the decision-making process of how to fight for maintenance for her child, is clearly that of a 'different voice', a striving for care-based, instead of rights-based, justice.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Management
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Depositing User: Anja Louis
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 10:00
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 13:13

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