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PHIL 418 Ethics

Published : 25-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


The report discusses about ethics of care analysis of Hooters members Jimbo, Marcee and Coby. The report also describes the experiences of Hooters president and boss Coby Brooks as an undercover boss to discover the truth behind hooters customer footfall and collect real time customer feedback.  

Further, there is a discussion on the characteristics of the ethics of care and its explanation as per Carol Gilligan. Lastly, the report describes about the comparison of Ethics of care with any of the existing theories.



The report discusses about ethics of care analysis of Hooters members Jimbo, Marcee and Colby. Hooter is a chain of restaurants known for its chicken wings, beer and attractive female waiting staff known as “hooting girls”. Ethics of care takes into account ideas related to normative ethical theory and morality. The report also describes the experiences of Hooters president and boss Coby Brooks as an undercover boss to discover the truth behind hooters customer footfall and thereby collect customer feedback. While being in undercover he found that some were misinterpreting the objective of the brand.  Further, there is a discussion on the characteristics of the ethics of care and its explanation in the view of Carol Gilligan.

Ethics of Care

Ethics of care is a normative ethical theory where care and interpersonal relationships considered a virtue that is more important than moral action (Mackenzie, Rogers & Dodds, 2014). In addition to this, Ethics of care developed by feminists as a cluster of normative ethical theories in the latter half of twentieth century. According to Carol Gilligan, an ethics of care enables us to focus our attention to necessity of responsiveness in relationships through listening, responding and paying attention. She also said ethics of care is also the cost that one has to pay for losing connection with oneself and others. The logic behind ethics of care is not deductive and mathematical but psychological, inductive and contextual. However, there are three levels of morality about caring. The first level is where self-care is of prior importance, the second level is where self-care is for others and the last level known as moral maturity is the stage when the need for both self and others understood.

Ethics of care commonly referred to as the relational ethics or the ethics of love do come with various characteristics:

Human Beings and their Interdependency

Care ethics focuses on the fact that human beings depend on one another. In this regard, human beings depend on each other for survival. Therefore, children depend on their parents and parents when old depend on their children. This is true for handicapped people who depend on others for survival. Thus, the process of dependency of human beings is directly proportional to his/ her age and physical and mental conditions. However, one can look at it in a different way by saying that parents take care of their children out of moral responsibility and children do the same when parents are old. Thus, human beings maintain an interdependent relationship that ensures ethical responsibilities (Tomasello et al., 2012)

Emotions Defines Human Nature

Care ethics not only identifies the value of reason but also at the same time distinguishes the importance of virtues like responsiveness, sensitivity, compassion, benevolence and sympathy.

Human Relations and Their Prioritization

The care ethics identifies the importance of prioritization of human relationship and limited partiality.

Unit of the Society and Family

Ethics of care considers the importance of family for understanding the ethical behaviour. The ethics also identifies the family where virtues inherited and cultivated. The care ethics deals with analytical and more critical elements and the family concept is restricted to the immediate family members.

Carol Gilligan Explanation of Ethics of Care 

Carol Gilligan is an American psychologist, ethicist and feminist known for her work on not only ethical relationships and ethical community but also problems related to ethics. According to Gilligan’s perspective, her work is a feminist approach towards Freudian motion which states that the moral sense of men are well developed. According to Freud, women have lesser power of justice than men do and do not readily submit to the great exigencies that life has on offer. Freud further pointed out that, feelings of affection and hostility influence the power of women judgment. Thus, Freud condemned women in all possible ways. In contrast to this, Carol Gilligan in her research have suggested that though women and men speak different languages but what they assume are same. Moreover, she also stresses upon the fact that they use similar words for encoding dissimilar experiences of social and self-relationships (Gilligan, 2013).  

Jimbo Analysis 

Jimbo was the manager of Texas outlet of Hooters. The President and CEO of Hooters, Coby Brooks, met him on the third day of his act as an Undercover Boss. What he found out through his activity was shocking and at the same time horrifying for him to tolerate being a father of two daughters.  Jimbo treated the female employees as his personal possession and inspected them in an undignified manner. Moreover, he was unaware that the person watching him was the president of the brand himself disguised as a man with a different name. Jimbo also had an unusual way of treatment for the employees while offering them an early leave. Thus, the employees given a plate of baked beans and the one who finishes it off without use of hands would be lucky enough to leave early. There were serious actions taken against him as he was utilizing the brand resources in a disgraceful manner. In this respect, the characteristic of ethics of care that identifies the value of reason and recognizes significance of virtues like sensitivity, compassion, benevolence and sympathy was violated (Dailymotion, 2017).

Marcee Analysis

The President of Hooters on fourth day served as an assistant manager to one of the Hooter manager Marcee. Marcee is a single mom of two who struggles to manage home life and work at the same pace. Therefore, to Coby Brooks she not only came across as stern and nurturing but also at the same time respectful. When asked about her job she said that at times it becomes too stressful. The fact that she used to be Hooters girl also did not help much. The characteristic of ethics of care identified in this case is the interdependency of human beings on each other and the prioritization of human relations. The interdependency refers to the dependency of Marcee’s children on her and prioritization refers to the partiality done without any limitation to the employees (Dailymotion, 2017).

Coby Analysis 

Hooters president and CEO Coby Brooks went out as undercover boss to discover the reason behind the fallouts of various Hooter outlet. Some of the things he found out was horrifying whereas some of the experiences were really good. He took out a 7 day undercover tour to find out what the managers of the various outlets was up to. Some managers were really good at managing the outlets whereas there were some who simply exploited the brand. Coby Brooks also found the public reviews to be negative about Hooter. He also got know that family people were also not willing to visit the place with their family because of the scantily dresses girls. The characteristics of Ethics of care identified with Coby are that he understands the prioritization of relationships with human. One can also identify with him in understanding the importance of family to understand ethical behaviour. Moreover, Coby also justifies in distinguishing various virtues like compassion, sympathy and benevolence.

Comparing and Contrast One theory with Ethics of Care

Unlike Ethics of care, Kohlberg’s theory deals mostly with boys. According to this theory, the moral reasoning of the boys revolved mostly around justice issues whereas girls became more concerned about caring issues and other’s responsibility. However, for ethics of care interpersonal relationship is a virtue. Again, another criticism becomes relevant to the Kohlberg’s theory that says young children to reason out compared to a stage theory adopt more sophisticated ways. The most important aspect of Kohlberg’s theory is that it faces the most criticism how moral reasoning dealt with than actual behaviour.


The report here discusses about the ethics of care. The various characteristics of ethics of care and the analysis of the characters shown in reference to a video provided discussed here. The video telecast the story of an Undercover Boss of a renowned brand to discover the challenges the brand faces from the bottom level. Analysis, done based on mostly ethics of care. The report further discusses about the Carol Gilligan theory of Ethics of care. Finally, there is also comparison and contrast between one of the existing theory and Ethics of care.


Dailymotion. (2017). Undercover Boss US S01E02 Hooters - Video Dailymotion

Gilligan, C. (2013). Joining the resistance. John Wiley & Sons.

Mackenzie, C., Rogers, W., & Dodds, S. (Eds.). (2014). Vulnerability: New essays in ethics and feminist philosophy. Oxford University Press.

Tomasello, M., Melis, A. P., Tennie, C., Wyman, E., Herrmann, E., Gilby, I. C., ... & Melis, A. (2012). Two key steps in the evolution of human cooperation: the interdependence hypothesis. Current anthropology, 53(6), 000-000.

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