Towards an Ethics of Care: Response to ‘Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging’
Nira Yuval-Davis, in her thought-provoking essay ‘Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging’, advocates for a view of intersectionality that is mutually constitutive and is focused on a politics of belonging, which has to do with contestation between different people sharing the same location. She stresses that one cannot homogenize a political project of people who are positioned differently. She argues that in spite of globalization, state citizenship still remains the most important political project of our time, along with nationalist and religious projects. In this context she wants to develop a feminist political project of belonging based on an ‘ethics of care’, rather than one built on citizenship, nationalism, religion or cosmopolitanism. It is an ethics of care that is based on power and shared values rather than an economy of care that simply makes it easier for women to be exploited. She asks on what basis should that ‘ethics of care’ be built and is uncomfortable with the notion that it be built on the bond of mothers to their children, which is a relationship of love, need and dependence rather than a more symmetrical relationship. What criteria, then, should be used to decide how differences should be respected and how does one determine the ability to respect, she asks?
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