Older women crafting ethical subjectivities in rural places
Bay, Uschi, Maidment, Jane and Courtney, Michelle 2011, Older women crafting ethical subjectivities in rural places, in TASA 2011 : Local Lives/Global Networks : The Australian Sociological Association annual conference, Australian Sociological Association, [Newcastle, N. S. W.].
Over the last two years my colleagues and I conducted research conversations with older women living in rural Victoria about the meaning of craft in their lives. These conversations are the basis for our speculations on how women constitute ethical subjectivities through specific craft activities and through their engagement with Country Women Association (CWA) craft groups. The CWA is recognised as a ‘community of practice’ with local, regional, state, national and global networks, aiming to improve the lives of rural people. The focus of this paper, however, is on how ethical subjectivities by rural women are fashioned through specific involvements in craft activities and craft groups. I aim to elaborate on how Foucault’s later work on the ‘Care of the Self’ may open possibilities, even if limited, for understanding the complex ways women take up subject positions in interaction with historical, political, economic and social arrangements, and through engagement with specific institutions. For Foucault, ‘care of the self’ is an inherently social practice. Currently, modern power relations incite us to relate to our selves through self confessional and self-disciplining technologies. Could a differently constituted mode of self-care be drawn from the Ancient Greeks to offer us ideas for enacting personal and social transformations today?
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