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Butlerian Thought

  • By: Petra Munro Hendry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Butlerian thought refers to the work of poststructur-alist and queer theorist Judith Butler (1956). In curriculum studies, her theorizing is used to deconstruct binary concepts of gender, reconceptualize identity as nonunitary, and posit an ethics based on the limits of self-knowledge. Her most influential book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, critiqued the work of feminists who asserted woman as constituting a category with common interests and traits that reified an essentialist notion of gender. In de-essentializing gender, Butler conceptualizes identity as free-floating, as not connected to an essence, but instead to performance. In some of her later works, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjugation, Excitable Speech, and most recently Antigone's Claim: ...

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