cover of book

Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism
by Susan Gelfand Malka
University of Illinois Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-252-03247-9 | Paper: 978-0-252-07481-3
Library of Congress Classification RT4.M32 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 610.73


Daring to Care examines the impact of second-wave feminism on the nursing field since the 1960s. In arguing that feminism helped to end nursing’s subordination to medicine and provided nurses with greater autonomy and professional status, Susan Gelfand Malka discusses two distinct eras in nursing history. The first extended from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, when feminism seemed to belittle the occupation in its analysis of gender subordination but also fueled nursing leaders’ drive for greater authority and independence. The second era began in the mid-1980s, when feminism grounded in the ethics of care appealed to a much broader group of caregivers and was incorporated into nursing education. While nurses accepted aspects of feminism, they did not necessarily identify as feminists; nonetheless, they used, passed on, and developed feminist ideas, which is evident in nursing school curricula changes and the increase in self-directed and specialized roles available to twenty-first-century expert caregivers.

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