Carol Gilligan on Giving Women a Voice

Psychologist, Feminist,and Ethicist

In 2002, Carol Gilligan became University Professor at New York University, with affiliations in the School of Law, the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is currently teaching a seminar at the Law School on Resisting Injustice and an advanced research seminar on The Listening Guide Method of Psychological Inquiry. She is a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge affiliated with the Centre for Gender Studies and with Jesus College.

She received an A.B. in English literature from Swarthmore College, a masters degree in clinical psychology from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. Her landmark book In A Different Voice (1982) is described by Harvard University Press as "the little book that started a revolution."  Following In A Different Voice, she initiated the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology and Girls' Development and co-authored or edited 5 books with her students.

She received a Senior Research Scholar award from the Spencer Foundation, a Grawemeyer Award for her contributions to education, a Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans.

She was a member of the Harvard faculty for over 30 years and in 1997 became Harvard's first professor of Gender Studies, occupying the Patricia Albjerg Graham chair.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Carol Gilligan: After I wrote different voice I did this work on girls, which was in some ways for me the most revelatory and radical, because there was, I heard of voice in girls, my colleagues and I did, that was at once familiar and surprising and it was an honest voice and it was girls saying what they knew, and then we watched girls struggle to keep that voice

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in their relationship and I think women right now have - I think that work has had huge effect on women, because it is said there is a - that voice in you and if you are not hearing it, where is it and I think the shifts in our culture have provided a lot more resilience for a women to say well actually this is what I think. I remember I had a graduate student, this is in by recall what I call the olden days, who was in her thesis or else and she was asked question and she said “well, if I were to speak for myself” and I said to her “as suppose to…” I mean who are you specking for? If not for yourself and we live in a democracy, which means as citizens we need to all speak for ourselves and that is how democracy functions. So, I think yes, I think women are very good at look at the world. It’s changed and it is not changed. There are women in all kinds of places where there were in no women before. So, it’s obviously you cannot chop those changes without changing everybody’s intimate life’s, everybody’s life’s and relationships have changed. And then there are things that haven’t changed, like look at who are the heads of the fortune 500 companies, but it is changing. I mean look at the countries of the world around as a women president, I mean Chile and Germany and one of the African countries, so its huge, we are in the middle of it, right now and that’s what I think.


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