Cura di sé, cura dell’altro


  • Elena Pulcini



Elena Pulcini, relational subject, Carol Gilligan, priority of the Self


Care of the Self, care of the other.

The identification between care and women is so deeply engraved in our imagination that it persists in our consciousness in spite of the radical transformations that have concerned the female subject over the last decades: care is what women give. This affirmation can be accepted on two conditions: the first is that care has to be rehabilitated and freed from the purely altruistic aspects that have always been identified with the female. In this sense, starting from the reflection of Carol Gilligan and the care theorists who propose the evaluation of female difference, one could say that the rehabilitation of care implies thinking of a relational subject: this allows us to overcome the opposition between the priority of the Self and priority of the other, because it combines autonomy and dependence, freedom and vulnerability. The second condition is to rescue care from the limited dimension of the private in order to involve the male subject, the public space and the global dimension. This implies considering the motivations and emotional sources of care (passion for the other). On this basis, one could assume that women are capable of transforming their traditional condition of subjected to care to act freely and voluntarily as subjects of care.