Facing Forward: Feminist Analysis of Care and Agency on a Global Scale

Cristina LH Traina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter brings the insights of philosophical feminism to bear on the theme of the volume: understanding the harms that markets cause to distant others. The chapter identifies five feminist methodological principles relevant here: standpoint theory (there are no purely objective perspectives), future orientation (stressing solutions rather than assessment of blame for past wrongs), non-idealism (focusing on the existing flawed world instead of developing norms for a perfect justice), analysis of privilege (acknowledging how social structures benefit some and harm others), and ascription of moral agency (refusing to treat victims as passive recipients). The chapter examines the debates within feminism about an “ethic of care” as more basic than the traditional analyses of justice. The chapter then applies the prior analysis to the concrete case of global care chains, as in the case where a wealthy attorney in Los Angeles hires a nanny from the Philippines to care for her children, while this employee hires a caretaker for her own children back home, and where this low-paid caretaker depends on her mother or sister to care for her own children, typically without pay.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDistant Markets, Distant Harms
Subtitle of host publicationEconomic Complicity and Christian Ethics
EditorsDaniel Finn
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)978-0199371006
StatePublished - 2014


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