Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates

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Michèle Barrett, Anne Phillips
Stanford University Press, 1992 - Social Science - 224 pages
In the past decade the central principles of western feminist theory have been dramatically challenged. Many feminists have endorsed post-structuralism's rejection of essentialist theoretical categories, and have added a powerful gender dimension to contemporary critiques of modernity. Earlier concepts of "gender", "the body", "equality", and "women" have been radically undermined, and newer concerns with "difference", "identity", and "power" have emerged. Destabilizing Theory explores these developments in a set of specially commissioned essays by feminist theorists. Does this change amount to a real shift within feminist theory, or will feminism's links with an emancipatory modernism reinstate an older political agenda? Can we transcend the common counterposition of equality and difference, or is feminism condemned to argue within the terms of this binary opposition? Contributors include Griselda Pollock, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Rosemary Pringle and Sophie Watson, Moira Gatens, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Sylvia Walby, and Biddy Martin as well as the two editors. The essays deal with subject matter as wide-ranging as the state, experience, art, lesbianism, and the politics of translation, and engage with major debates in philosophy, political theory, and sociology.

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