Political science and caring: Or, the perils of balkanized social science

Joan C. Tronto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper suggests that political scientists interested in the place of women in politics should be wary of a standard epistemological ploy in modern political science, i.e., the adoption of concepts from other social sciences without placing them into a broader context. This argument is made by an examination of the widespread usage of the notion of an “ethic of care” in contemporary analysis of women in politics. This notion, derived in its most recent formulation from the development psychology of Carol Gilligan, hsa historical antecedents in the Scottish Enlightenment. Close examination of this historical account of caring belies the special attachment between women and caring and suggests important questions about how political scientists should look at the question of care. © 1987 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalWomen and Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987


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