- Subject index
Recent debates in contemporary feminist theory have been dominated by the relation between identity and politics. Beyond Identity Politics examines the implications of recent theorizing on difference, identity and subjectivity for theories of patriarchy and feminist politics. Organised around the three central themes of subjectivity, power and politics, this book focuses on a question which feminists struggled with and were divided by throughout the last decade, that is: how to theorize the relation between the subject and politics. In this thoughtful engagement with these debates Moya Lloyd argues that the turn to the subject in process does not entail the demise of feminist politics as many feminists have argued. She demonstrates how key ideas such as agency, power and domination take on a new shape as a consequence of this radical rethinking of the subject-politics relation and how the role of feminist political theory becomes centred upon critique.A resource for feminist theorists, women's and gender studies students, as well as political and social theorists, this is a carefully composed and wide-ranging text, which provides important insights into one of contemporary feminism's most central concerns.
Chapter One: Re-Imagining the Feminist Subject
Re-Imagining the Feminist Subject
When I do not see plurality stressed in the very structure of a theory, I know that I will have to do lots of acrobatics – of the contortionist and walk-on-the-tightrope kind – to have this speak to me without allowing the theory to distort me in my complexity. (Lugones, cited in Spelman, 1990: 80)
Maria Lugones's request not to have to fit herself into an oversimplified theory bears eloquent testimony to feminism's recent difficulties with how to acknowledge women's specificity and their differences from each other in terms of geography, culture, ethnic location or embodiment. Second-wave feminism has often assumed that all women share something: a common nature (an ontological moment), common experiences (a narrative moment) or a ...