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The Heart of JusticeCare ethics and Political Theory$
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Daniel Engster

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214358.001.0001

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Care Theory and Culture

Care Theory and Culture

(p.197) 5 Care Theory and Culture
The Heart of Justice

Daniel Engster (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the cultural institutions and arrangements best suited for fostering in people a positive disposition toward caring, including the sentiments of sympathy and compassion. A brief survey is provided of recent psychological studies on the childrearing practices most likely to foster the development of caring attitudes and behaviors in children. A number of family policies are then proposed to enable and encourage parents to raise their children according to these practices. Drawing on the work of Nancy Chodorow, next the chapter argues that the current gendered division of caring within and outside the family must also be addressed if men, in particular, are to become more positively disposed to caring. The chapter then briefly discusses Nel Noddings's proposal for a more caring educational curriculum, and proposes an alternative set of educational reforms. The final section explores the effects of the media, and especially television, on people's attitudes about caring, and outlines some policies for mitigating some of the harmful consequences of television and other media on people's attitudes about caring.

Keywords:   care ethics, compassion, culture, developmental psychology, education, family policies, media, Nancy Chodorow, Nel Noddings, sympathy, trust, Virginia Held

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