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Awareness and Change

Awareness and Change

(p.167) Chapter 5 Awareness and Change
Ethical Life
Webb Keane
Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the idea of ethical history, looking at situations in which hitherto taken-for-granted aspects of everyday life came to be the focus of attention, such as feminist consciousness-raising in the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, the American feminist movement is the invention and promulgation of the technique of consciousness-raising. Consciousness-raising is interesting for several reasons: it took very seriously the effects of problematizing the habits of everyday life, it succeeded in changing the descriptions and evaluations of actions and persons that were available for many Americans, and it ultimately foundered, in part, on an unresolved tension between subjective experience and objective social analysis. The chapter then argues that processes like this play an important role in the historical transformations of ethical and moral worlds.

Keywords:   ethical history, feminist consciousness-raising, American feminist movement, consciousness-raising, subjective experience, objective social analysis

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