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

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Several years ago, Mary Field Belenky, Lynne A. Bond, and Jacqueline S. Weinstock embarked on an experimental project that grew out of Belenky's work on the best-selling Women's Ways of Knowing, a book that traced women's struggles to claim the powers of mind. Building on those findings, the authors asked, "What would happen if extremely isolated young mothers, living in rural poverty, were supported to become more active, confident, and articulate thinkers?" What they discovered is profoundly important. This book explores this project, as well as the work of other women who have created ongoing organizations for the express purpose of bringing excluded groups "into voice". Because these organizations are so effective in nurturing the development of their members, the authors call them "public homeplaces". While these diverse project are rooted in very different soils - declining inner-city neighborhoods, affluent middle-class suburbs, and African American communities in the Deep South - they have much in common. They are places where every voice is heard, where the group's action projects are designed to address the members' most driving questions and concerns, and where all are supported to be the best they can be. Public homeplaces emerge from leadership that fosters the development of people, especially of those most vulnerable. While this form of public leadership arises again in communities all over the world, it is a poorly named and little recognized tradition - no doubt because it draws heavily on women's experiences with mothering. In this engrossing and sensitive book, Belenky, Bond, and Weinstock introduce us to places where silenced and excluded people meet, nurture each other's development, and emerge as leaders with a significant voice in the community. Richly illustrated with many case studies, A Tradition That Has No Name at last describes and defines a heritage that is essential to building a more caring, capable, and truly democratic society.

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A TRADITION THAT HAS NO NAME: Nurturing the Development of People, Families and Communities

User Review  - Kirkus

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 ... Read full review

A tradition that has no name: nurturing the development of people, families, and communities

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Belenky and coauthors, all scholars in the fields of human development, psychology, or education, try to do many things here. They discuss the dualistic thinking that makes woman the "other," portray ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Belenky is a consultant on human development and associate research professor.

Bond is professor of psychology at the University of Vermont.

Jacqueline S. Weinstock is Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. She is co- author of Public Homeplaces: Women and the Struggle against Otherness (Belenky, Bond & Weinstock).

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