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Subjectivity, Identity and Desire
Subjectivity, identity and desire
Introduction

‘The question of “the subject” ‘, Butler writes in the first chapter of Gender Trouble, ‘is crucial for politics’ (1990: 2). The explicit departure point for Butler's interrogation of the relation between subjectivity and identity is the discussion, in that text, of the extent to which there is a universal basis for feminist politics. Specifically, the issue she addresses is whether or not the presumption of a series of identities or categories (women, feminism, masculinity, patriarchy, the West), consistent and continuous across historical periods and various cultural sites and contexts, can be justified. Her point is that any feminist political project cannot simply presume or take for granted the terms through which it acts, since such terms (and ...

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