The central argument of this book is that the sex//gender distinction is invalid and must be transcended. To this end, the work of Foucault, Connell, Goffman, Garfinkel, Butler, Freud, Derrida, Saussure, Lacquer and Kessler and McKenna is woven into a rich and compelling set of arguments. The sex//gender distinction is attacked for producing a series of irresolvable traps. However much one tries to think one's way out of the dichotomy, one ends up being suckered back into its imponderables and blind alleys. The book attempts to comprehensively reorientate the field and redefine the terrain.

The Mystery of the Visible

The mystery of the visible

In ‘The World of Wrestling’, Roland Barthes describes the hyperbolic signs proffered to the public by wrestling as ‘a pure and full signification, rounded like Nature’ (Barthes, 1983: 29). Although we may now seem to be a world away from the doctrine of signatures in which the conformation of the world revealed its nature and God's purpose, at least one perception of nature is that of an asignificatory plenitude, sufficient unto itself, whose very facticity dispenses with the need for a hermeneutics. Nature doesn't present us with signs: its meaning shines forth clearly, fully, unproblematically. As we shall see later on when we come to look at Goffman's work, what we can refer to for the ...

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