A Tradition That Has No Name: Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities

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9780465086818: A Tradition That Has No Name: Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities
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Mary Field Belenky, Lynne A. Bond, and Jacqueline S. Weinstock, hoping to carry Belenky's theoretical work in the bestselling Women's Ways of Knowing into the realm of everyday life, created the Listening Partners project, designed to help young women isolated in rural poverty give voice to their personal and communal needs and come together to create social change. A Tradition That Has No Name explores this project and the work of other women who have created organizations to give voice to and strengthen traditions of community organizing and leadership, particularly as they have developed in communities of women marginalized by race and class. Ranging across cultures and classes from struggling inner-city neighborhoods to affluent middle-class suburbs, from African American communities in the South to poor rural communities in Vermont the book teaches us how to appreciate the ways women create networks of listening and community-building, and how to bring these little-recognized traditions of women's activism to the forefront of public life. It is these public homeplaces” women create together, the authors argue, that hold the key for empowering communities and creating social change.

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About the Author:

Mary Field Belenky is a consultant who works with community and educational organizations and an associate research professor at the University of Vermont. She lives in Marshfield, Vermont, and New York City.

Lynne A. Bond is professor of psychology at the University of Vermont and a consultant in community development in the United States and abroad. She lives in Charlotte, Vermont.

Jacqueline S. Weinstock is assistant professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Program within the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. She lives in Burlington, Vermont.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An academic report, including research projects that uphold ``women's ways of knowing'' and programs that allow women to grow by ``gaining a voice,'' that is both uplifting and redundant. Coauthor Belenky (Women's Ways of Knowing, not reviewed) is one of the researchers who probed the idea that women receive and process knowledge in a way different from men. With her University of Vermont colleagues (Bond, Psychology; Weinstock, Education/Social Services) she further explores how women develop as leaders, ``raising up'' rather than ``ruling over'' the next generation (as opposed to men's thinking in such matters, which is more authoritarian). The emphasis here is on a funded project carried out in rural Vermont called ``Listening Partners.'' The goal was to reach isolated women, bring them together, and help them develop independent modes of thought through mutual encouragement. As the women gathered in small groups organized by the authors, it was hoped (and affirmed) that they would move up through stages of thought (from ``Silenced'' to ``Constructivist''), and that the women would then be able to teach their children a more creative mode of thinking about the world. The book moves on to discuss observations of natural female leaders in small and large communities--``homeplaces''- -who achieve communal goals by nurturing individual strengths in their neighbors and emphasizing consensus and cooperation. Among the grassroots organizations examined are the National Congress of Neighborhood Women and two Mothers' Center groups, one in Germany and one in the US. Most of the women who practice what the authors call ``developmental leadership'' have their roots in African-American communities. Although the research and observations validate and celebrate female styles of leadership that flourish around kitchen tables and in church basements, the accounts of success stories are often muddled and repetitious, with far too much attention paid to how research projects were designed. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780465026050: A Tradition That Has No Name: Nurturing The Development Of People, Families, And Communities

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