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Jean Bethke Elshtain on Privacy - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 280
Privacy/Elshtain/Mottier: Whereas feminists agree on the necessity of democratizing the private sphere, they disagree as to the political solutions. Pateman(1), for example, argues for the abandoning of the distinction between public and private spheres in favour of
more politicization of the private sphere. Other authors think that it is essential to maintain clear
boundaries between the two spheres.
ElshtainVsPateman: Jean Bethke Elshtain (1981(2)), in particular, vehemently rejects Pateman's position. She considers the assimilation of both spheres to be 'totalitarian' since it would not
leave any areas of life outside of politics.
Political sphere/privicy/Elshtain: [Elshtain] considers the assimilation of both spheres to be 'totalitarian' since it would not leave any areas of life outside of politics. According to Elshtain, the liberalist rigid separation of the spheres leads to the removal from the political sphere of family values, solidarity and care. The public sphere becomes a space regulated only by the principle of individualistic, rational pursuit of egoistic self-interests. Consequently, the political sphere becomes emptied of its more central values. Elshtain thus argues that the application of principles of the public sphere to the private sphere let loose the most negative tendencies of the modern
world.
Family/Elshtain: The family, she argues, should be protected against the destructive effects of politicization by rigorous maintenance of clear boundaries between the two spheres.


1. Pateman, Carole (1989) The Disorder of Women: Democracy, Feminism and Political Theory.
Cambridge: Polity.
2. Elshtain, Jean Bethke (1981) Public Man, Private Women: Women in Social and Political Thought. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Véronique Mottier 2004. „Feminism and Gender Theory: The Return of the State“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Elshtain, Jean Bethke
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-07-27
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