Theories of Life Stages and Human Development
CAROL GILLIGAN Carol Gilligan was born on November 28, 1936, in New York City. She has received her doctorate degree in social psychology from Harvard University in 1964m and began teaching at Harvard in 1967. Then in 1970 she became a research assistant for the great theorist of moral development, Lawrence Kohlberg. Eventually Gilligan became independent and began to criticize some of Kohlberg' s work. Her opinions were presented in her famous book, " In a different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women ' s Development " which was published in 1982. She felt that Kohlberg only studied " privileged, white men and boys. " Gilligan said that this caused a biased opinion against women. She felt that , in Kohlberg ' s stage theory of moral development, the male view of individual rights and rules was considered a higher stage than women's point of view of development in terms of its caring effect on human relationships. " Gilligan ' s goal is was to prove that women are not " moral midgets " , she was going against many psychological opinions. Another famous theorist, Freud thought women ' s moral sense was stunted because they stayed attached to their mothers. Another great theorist , Erik Erickson , thought the tasks of development were separation from mother and the family , If women did not succeed in this scale, then they were obviously lacking. Therefore Gilligan ' s goal was a good cause.
Her theory is divided into three stages of moral development beginning from " selfish , to social or conventional morality , and finally to post conventional or principled morality . " Women must learn to deal to their own interests and to the interests of others . She thinks that women hesitate to judge because they see the complexities of relationships.
the person 's attitude is considered selfish. and the person sees the connection between themselves and others. In this transitional phase.
. Post Conventional -Acceptance of the principle of care for self and others is shown.Pre Conventional -Person only cares for themselves in order to ensure survival -This is how everyone is as children In this transitional phase. -Gilligan says this is shown in the role of Mother & Wife -Situation sometimes carries on to ignoring needs of self. Conventional -Responsibility -More care shown for other people. tensions between responsibility of caring for others and caring for self are faced. -Some people never reach this level.
Gilligan's Theory and Education Carol Gilligan's theory helps both men and women in seeing eachother in a different perspective. which can be seen after developing relationships with colleagues. She feels strongly that promoting an anti-male agenda hurts both males and females. In terms of education everyone should focus on it and everyone's need for education is important. She says Gilligan used unreliable evidence. and a good impression is trying to be made. children. especially in the case of education Gilligan's Theory and the Workplace A person could undergo this process of "the ethic of care" when entering a new job. that researchers have not been able to duplicate her work.Is She Wrong? There has been some criticism of Gilligan's work and by Christina Hoff Sommers . (Not everyone reaches the post conventional stage)
. The conventional stage is shown when the job is just acuired. She says that Gilligan does not have data for her research. or other people they care about. According to Gilligan . and that the samples used were too small. women can gain personal independence after they forget about the idea that their proper role is to overcome their interests to the interests of their husbands. PhD . This is followed by the conventional stage. A person should not put the needs of others in front of their own. Gilligan says that in our society women really like to help others. This might be followed by the post conventional stage when care for oneself and another colleague might be equal. Gilligan says that her work has been published in articles and journals and Sommer ' s points are inaccurate. Gilligan' s Theory and Society Gilligan's ideas are against the struggle of women against our society's idea of their " gender-determined " role. however they should care just as much about themselves as the do about others.
she provides a sequence of three levels (Belknap. Gilligan suggests this difference is due to gender and the child’s relationship with the mother (Lefton. Gilligan hypothesized that as younger children girls are more inclined towards caring. Thus. and individual behavior used to evaluate situations and behavior as good or bad. relationships. Carol Gilligan’s Moral Development Theory
As human beings grow we somehow develop the ability to assess what is right or wrong. 2000). relationships. Kohlberg’s theory is comprised of three levels of moral development becoming more complex. Kohlberg devised his theory by asking college aged students whether or not they would break into a drug store to steal the medicine to save his wife and why or why not (Wark & Krebs. 2000). Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory entails the famous man “Heinz” who is portrayed to have a wife that is terminally ill. found that morality develops by looking at much more than justice. institutions. the self is the sole object of concern. In other words. More specifically Gilligan noted that girls are more concerned with care. and from Kohlberg’s theory Gilligan found that girls do in-fact develop moral orientations differently than boys. At level one of Gilligan’s theoretical framework a woman’s orientation is towards individual survival (Belknap. The first transition that
. a system of learned attitudes about social practices. and connections with other people. Gilligan noted differences between girls and boys in their feelings towards caring. 2000). 2000). The following will discuss the morality development theory of Carol Gilligan and its implications. acceptable or unacceptable. In general. One theorist. 2000). right or wrong (Lefton. Child development literature often provides a heated comparison of Gilligan’s theory with that of Lawrence Kohlberg’s. the central moral problem for women is the conflict between self and other. we develop morality. Carol Gilligan. Kohlberg’s moral development theory did not take into account gender. Carol Gilligan was the first to consider gender differences in her research with the mental processes of males and females in their moral development. According to Gilligan. Within Gilligan’s theoretical framework for moral development in females. 1996). 2000). and boys are more inclined towards justice (Lefton.Real-Life Dilemmas. and connections with other people than boys (Lefton.
Carol Gilligan has provided a framework for the moral orientations and development of women. Gilligan’s theory is comprised of three stages: self-interest. 2000). On the other hand. Gilligan also emphasized that both men and women think about caring when faced with relationship dilemmas. The participants of Gilligan’s research are limited to mostly white. the needs of the self must be deliberately uncovered. and b) there is an association between moral orientation and gender such that women focus on care dilemmas and men focus on justice dilemmas (Gilligan & Attanucci. similarly both are likely to focus on justice when faced with dilemmas involving others rights. men as logical. differently than
. Gilligan’s work highlights that people think about other people in a humanly caring way. Gilligan refers to the second transition from level two to level three as the transition from goodness to truth (Belknap. and post-conventional thinking where each level is more complex. but that people tend to focus on one or the other depending on gender. primarily adolescence and adults when faced with real-life dilemmas. The study showed that: a) concerns about justice and care are represented in people’s thinking about real-life moral dilemmas. Current research on explicit schemas as to how women come to reallife decisions when faced with real-life dilemmas is limited. self-sacrifice. 2000). In summary. This level is where a woman adopts societal values and social membership. At level two the main concern is that goodness is equated with self-sacrifice (Belknap. Overall. 1996. An example of one of the real-life dilemma subjects were asked to consider was a situation with a pregnant women considering an abortion (Gilligan & Attanucci. Gilligan’s theory has had both positive and negative implications in the field of psychology. Here. In general. as they are uncovered the woman begins to consider the consequences of the self and other (Belknap. the most criticized element to her theory is that it follows the stereotype of women as nurturing. Gilligan found that girls do develop morality. One positive implication is that her work has influenced other psychologists in their evaluations of morality. looked at the distinction between care and justice perspectives with men and women. literature reviews have provided that Gilligan’s work needs a broader more multicultural basis. One study by Gilligan & Attanucci.takes place is from being selfish to being responsible. 1988). 1988). middle class children and adults (Woods. 2000). Also.
psychology. However.edu/Gilligan. as do all theories Gilligan’s has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when looking at moral orientations.htm
http://www. Gilligan’s theory holds particular implications for adolescent girls specifically as this is typically when they enter the transition from level two to level three.others.sbc.