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Welldon, E. (2012). Joining the Resistance by Carol Gilligan. Published by Polity, Malden, MA, 2011; 140 pp.. Brit. J. Psychother., 28(4):545-548.

(2012). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 28(4):545-548

Joining the Resistance by Carol Gilligan. Published by Polity, Malden, MA, 2011; 140 pp.

Review by:
Estela Welldon

In 1982 the publication of In a Different Voice made its author Carol Gilligan a household name, particularly in the USA. Her work has changed our expectations about what men and women can offer to society and it has been quoted widely. Her findings are important to feminists, social reformers, political activists and clinicians alike.

In her first book, Gilligan's hypotheses in relation to the development of morality in girls and boys, created a huge stir. Her research on voices is largely responsible for changing the ways that many view men and women in psychological and social terms. This work gave an added meaning to gender and it articulated ideas which had been long silenced to ensure that girls approaching adolescence ‘behaved well’ and retained their required sexual attractiveness. Her research was carried out in mainstream schools and involved listening to both boys and girls. She observed that, repeatedly, developmental theories on moral development had been based on observations of men's lives. It was assumed that when women failed to develop in the way men do, something was wrong with the women. However, Gilligan stated that something must be wrong with the ‘male model’ theory of moral development with its emphasis on abstract rules in which girls were somehow deficient.

Her research demonstrated that theories of gender development had a ‘need’ for the girls to ‘normalize’ themselves according to social demands if they wanted to achieve ‘mature’ relationships with the other gender.

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