Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory

Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory

by Nancy J. Hirschmann
     
 

In Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory, Nancy Hirschmann demonstrates not merely that modern theories of freedom are susceptible to gender and class analysis but that they must be analyzed in terms of gender and class in order to be understood at all. Through rigorous close readings of major and minor works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant,

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Overview

In Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory, Nancy Hirschmann demonstrates not merely that modern theories of freedom are susceptible to gender and class analysis but that they must be analyzed in terms of gender and class in order to be understood at all. Through rigorous close readings of major and minor works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Mill, Hirschmann establishes and examines the gender and class foundations of the modern understanding of freedom. Building on a social constructivist model of freedom that she developed in her award-winning book The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom, she makes in her new book another original and important contribution to political and feminist theory.

Despite the prominence of "state of nature" ideas in modern political theory, Hirschmann argues, theories of freedom actually advance a social constructivist understanding of humanity. By rereading "human nature" in light of this insight, Hirschmann uncovers theories of freedom that are both more historically accurate and more relevant to contemporary politics. Pigeonholing canonical theorists as proponents of either "positive" or "negative" liberty is historically inaccurate, she demonstrates, because theorists deploy both conceptions of freedom simultaneously throughout their work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691129884
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/12/2007
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

INTRODUCTION: Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory 1

Negative and Positive Liberty in the Western Canon 2

The Social Construction of Freedom 13

The Gender Politics of Freedom 21

CHAPTER ONE: Thomas Hobbes: Desire and Rationality 29

The Will to Freedom 30

Freedom and Obligation: From Choice to Contract 35

Warrior Women, Invisible Wives 44

Natural Freedom, Civil Contract 49

The Social Construction of Freedom 63

The Containment of Difference 70

Conclusion 77

CHAPTER TWO: John Locke: Freedom, Reason, and the Education of Citizen-Subjects 79

The Role of Reason 80

Nature versus Nurture: The Role of Education 87

The Gendered Property of Freedom 91

Consent, Choice, and a Two-Tiered Conception of Freedom 99

The Construction of Individuality, the Discipline of Freedom 106

Conclusion 115

CHAPTER THREE: Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Force, Freedom, and Family 118

Rousseau's Three Kinds of Freedom 119

Politics and the Will 125

Education, Will, and the Social Construction of Citizens 133

Gender, Education, and Virtue 138

Julie, or The Woman as Model Citizen 152

Gender, Passion, and Politics 161

Conclusion 166

CHAPTER FOUR: Immanuel Kant: The Inner World of Freedom 168

Transcendence and Phenomena 169

Ethics and Politics 178

Class, Education, and Social Construction 188

Sexual Constructions 195

Conclusion 207

CHAPTER FIVE: John Stuart Mill: Utility, Democracy, Equality 213

The "Two Mills" 216

Internal and External Realms 223

The Will to Utility 229

Democracy, Class, and Gender 238

The Class of Education 249

Politics, Participation, and Power 260

Conclusion 266

CONCLUSION: Rethinking Freedom in the Canon 274

Freedom in Its Two Forms 274

Gender, Class, and Berlin's Typology 281

The Social Construction of Freedom 287

Notes 291

References 317

Index 331

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