Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates

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Stanford University Press, 1992 - Social Science - 224 pages
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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 '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?
 

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Contents

Universal Pretensions in Political Thought
10
PostPostModernism? Theorizing Social Complexity
31
Womens Interests and the PostStructuralist State
53
Locating the Politics of Experience
74
Sexual Practice and Changing Lesbian Identities
93
Power Bodies and Difference
120
Painting Feminism History
138
The Politics of Translation
177
Materialism and Method
201
Index
220
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About the author (1992)

Michele Barrett is Professor of Sociology at the City University, London. Her many books include "The Politics of Truth, Women's Oppression Today", and "Destabilizing Theory with Anne Phillips

Anne Phillips is Professor of Politics at London Guildhall University. Her publications include The Politics of Presence (1995), Democracy and Difference (1993), Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates (co-edited with Michele Barrett, 1992), and Engendering Democracy (1991).

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