- 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 Three: Essentialism: A Risk Worth Taking?
Essentialism: A Risk Worth Taking?
In the previous two chapters, I have demonstrated ways in which the subject-in-process entails a different understanding of identity and difference than that discerned in other feminist writings. This understanding challenges the idea that there is such a thing as a stable, unified, universal subject. There are, rather, historically and culturally differentiated subject positions. Every subject is a fluid, multiple subject. As I indicated in Chapter 2, these subject positions operate both to regulate and inhibit as well as to empower and enable those (self) constituted by them. Given all this, it might be supposed that my position on subjectivity is resolutely anti-essentialist since I prioritize specificity and difference, the naturalization of identity claims and the ...