Situating Feminism: From Thought to Action

Books

Sondra Farganis

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • Contemporary Social Theory

    Series Editor:

    Mark Gottdiener

    University of California, Riverside

    CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL THEORY books are brief, introductory texts designed to make current trends in social theory accessible to undergraduate students in the social sciences.

    Volumes in This Series

    • Tom Mayer, ANALYTICAL MARXISM
    • Sondra Farganis, SITUATING FEMINISM: From Thought to Action
    • Raymond A. Morrow with David D. Brown, CRITICAL THEORY AND METHODOLOGY
    • Robert Hollinger, POSTMODERNISM IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: A Thematic Approach

    Series Editorial Board

    Ben N. Agger, Sociology, SUNY Buffalo

    Robert J. Antonio, Sociology, Univ. of Kansas

    Wini Breines, Sociology, Northeastern Univ.

    Richard Harvey Brown, Sociology, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

    Nancy Fraser, Philosophy, Norwestern Univ.

    Kenneth J. Gergen, Psychology, Swarthmore College

    Lawrence E. Hazelrigg, Sociology, Florida State Univ.

    Douglas Kellner, Philosophy, Univ. of Texas, Austin

    Jennifer M. Lehmann, Sociology, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

    Eric Monkkonen, History, UCLA

    John O'Neill, Sociology, York Univ.

    Paul Rabinow, Anthropology, Univ. of California, Berkeley

    Copyright

    View Copyright Page

    Dedication

    In memory of Alan, who left us too soon.

    Acknowledgments

    I am mindful of Mark Twain's missionary who is captured by cannibals: “They listened very carefully and thoughtfully to every word he said. Then they ate him.” I hope this shall not be my fate.

    My colleagues at the New School have provided me a space to raise questions, criticize prevailing opinions, and dissent from positions that seemed to me wrought with danger. As a result, I've not been afraid to ask whether my own positions contain untenable political consequences. In Mark Gottdeiner, I found friendship and support, which allowed this book to move from a mere argument to a full-fledged essay. Sid Plotkin has provided an example of the academy at its best: I value our conversations, which have ranged widely and deeply. I also have, in my life-world, a trinity that has anchored me in a safe harbor. Jim's tenacity and brilliance of intellect has always taken me to a place where I could not go on my own. I know why his students revere him, for he fires up their imaginations like nobody else can. Daphne has embodied a vision of womanhood that is not sullied by pettiness and bitterness but alive with care, concern, and tolerance. She has been a model of how one can support equity and diversity without tearing apart some abstract notion of Other as enemy. Dion, levelheaded, emboldened by a piercing wit, worked through this manuscript in that final summer and helped a project reach its destination. His directness is softened by charm and sculpted by intellect. My gratitude to this trio knows no bounds.

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    Additional Readings
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    Bordo, S. (1993). Unbearable weight: Feminism, Western culture and the body. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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    Kessler-Harris, A. (1993). A woman's wage: Historical meanings and social consequences. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
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    Lowe, M., & Hubbard, R. (Eds.). (1983). Women's nature: Rationalization of inequality. New York: Pergamon.
    Luker, K. (1984). Abortion and the politics of motherhood. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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    Mitchell, J. (1973). Woman's estate. New York: Random House.
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    Pollitt, K. (1987, May 23). The strange case of Baby M. Nation, pp. 682–688.
    Pollitt, K. (1992, December 28). Are women morally superior to men?Nation, pp. 799–807.
    Riley, D. (1988). “Am I that name?” Feminism and the category of women in history. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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    Rosenberg, R. (1983). Beyond separate spheres: Intellectual roots of modern feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
    Sayers, J. (1982). Biological politics: Feminist and anti-feminist perspectives. New York: Methuen.
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    Straus, M. A. (1979). Wife-beating: How common and why? In M. A.Straus & G. T.Hotaling (Eds.), The social causes of husband-wife violence (pp. 13–36). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Weedon, C. (1987). Feminist practice and poststructuralist theory. New York: Blackwell.
    Weier, M. (Ed.). (1988). Politics of social policy in the United States. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
    Yeatman, A. (1991). Postmodern revisionings of the political. New York: Routledge.

    Author Index

    About the Author

    Sondra Farganis is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, a master's degree from the New School, and a doctorate from the Australian National University. Her previous books include The Black Revolt and Democratic Politics (Ed.) and The Social Reconstruction of The Feminine Character. Trained in both political and social theory, she has written on issues of epistemology, public policy, and the dialectic between thought systems and their policy implications. It is within this tradition of sociological analysis that she has examined gender theory, most particularly as it has developed in contemporary American society. She has taught at the City University of New York, Vassar College, Hamilton College, as well as at the New School.


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