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The Subject of Liberty


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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xv CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 A MasculinistTheory of Freedom? 3 Freedom as Political, Not Philosophical 14 Feminism and Freedom 23 Defining Feminism 30 Why Not Autonomy? 35 CHAPTER TWO: The Social Construction of Freedom in Historical Perspective 40 Locke: An Educated Freedom 41 Rousseau: A "Well-Regulated "Freedom 48 Kant: An Intelligible Freedom 55 Mill: A Utilitarian Freedom 62 Conclusion: A Masculinist Freedom 70 CHAPTER THREE: Feminism and Freedom: The Social Construction Paradox 75 Social Construction and Political Theory 77 Discourse and Reality 85 The Social Construction of Freedom 93 The Paradox of Social Construction 98 CHAPTER FOUR: Internal and External Restraint: The Case of Battered Women 103 Battering in Context 108 The Thin (Black and)Blue Line: Institutional Contexts 113 Constructing Violence 121 Reconstructing Freedom 131 CHAPTER FIVE: Welfare as a Problem for Freedom Theory 138 Women's Freedom and Discourses of Welfare 140 Freedom Theory and Conservative Discourse 146 The Social Construction of Welfare Subjects 154 Freedom, Care, and Welfare Rights 158 CHAPTER SIX: Eastern Veiling, Western Freedom? 170 "The Veil" as Discursive and Social Symbolization 175 Autonomy and Freedom in Contexts of Community 185 Feminism and Freedom: Cross-Cultural Possibilities 192 CHAPTER SEVEN: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom 199 Changing Contexts: The Contribution of Foucault 206 The Politics of Freedom 217 Changing Contexts: The Role of Equality 222 Constructing Feminist Freedom 233 Notes 239 Name Index 279 Subject Index 285

About the Author

Nancy 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".


Winner of the 2004 Victoria Schuck Award "[An] extremely well argued piece of work... [V]ery important, not just to feminist theory but to an understanding of the theory and practice of freedom in general."--Marion Smiley, Perspectives on Politics "Freedom theorists, whether feminist or not, should study this importan book... With its practical applications, this is feminist theory at its best."--Choice "This is an impressively rich work, full of careful, closely argued encounters with philosophers and feminists from a variety of 'schools,' and well worth reading from a number of perspectives... [T]his book presents an articulate and well-informed, synoptic view of the broad problem of freedom, autonomy, and choice, and moves us firmly in the right direction."--Robert Switzer, H-Net Reviews "Nancy Hirschmann has written an impressive and important book. It constitutes a significant contribution to feminist theory, political philosophy, and discussions of social construction... [T]his is a powerful book."--Hypatia

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