Beyond Mothering Earth
Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care
Women’s environmental activism is often described in maternalist terms – as if motherhood and caring for the environment go hand in hand. While feminists celebrate this connection, women and all those who care for people and environments are facing increasing burdens and decreasing time for civic engagement.
In Beyond Mothering Earth, MacGregor argues that celebrations of “earthcare” as women’s unique contribution to the search for sustainability often neglect to consider the importance of politics and citizenship in women’s lives. Drawing on interviews with women who juggle private caring with civic engagement in quality-of-life concerns, she proposes an alternative: a project of feminist ecological citizenship that affirms the practice of citizenship as an intrinsically valuable activity while recognizing the foundational aspects of caring labour and natural processes that allow its specificity to flourish.
Beyond Mothering Earth provides an original and empirically grounded understanding of women’s involvement in quality-of-life activism and an analysis of citizenship that makes an important contribution to contemporary discussions of green politics, globalization, neoliberalism, and democratic justice. It will be of value to scholars and activists interested in the politics of environmental sustainability and the shifting meanings of citizenship in an increasingly vulnerable world.
- 2008, Short-listed - Book Award, Canadian Women’s Studies Association
A ground-breaking, provocative book that establishes Sherilyn MacGregor as a serious ecofeminist political thinker whose ideas need to taken into account and acknowledged by existing ecofeminist, feminist, and green scholarship.
Sherilyn MacGregor recasts women’s involvement in environmental activism by developing a theory of feminist ecological citizenship and offering clear connections between theory and practice. This is an original and timely initiative that will engage green theorists, feminist and environmental scholars, and activists alike.
1 Introduction: Earthcare or Feminist Ecological Citizenship?
Part One: Theoretical Interrogations
2 The Roots and Rhetoric of Ecomaternalism
3 Down among the Women: Ecofeminism and Identity Politics at the Grassroots
4 From Care to Citizenship: Calling Ecofeminism Back to Politics
5 The Problems and Possibilities of Ecological Citizenship
Part Two: Conversations
6 Conversations with Activist Women: Towards a Counter-Narrative
7 The Private, the Public, and the Planet: Juggling Care and Activism in Daily Life
8 Activist Women Theorize the Green Political
9 No Motherhood Issue: The Project of Feminist Ecological Citizenship
Appendix: Research Process and Methods
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