The new edition of Key Concepts in Gender Studies is a lively and engaging introduction to this dynamic field. Thoroughly revised throughout, the second edition benefits from the addition of nine new concepts including Gender Social Movements, Intersectionality and Mainstreaming. Each of the entries: • begins with a concise definition • outlines the history of each term and the debates surrounding it • includes illustrations of how the concept has been applied within the field • offers examples which allow a critical re-evaluation of the concept • is cross-referenced with the other key concepts • ends with guidance on further reading. A must-buy for undergraduate and postgraduate students in a range of social science and humanities disciplines.
Essentialism is a term which describes the ways in which an entity or group is seen as possessing a fixed set of attributes which give it meaning or allow it to function. Essentialism was adopted by second-wave feminists specifically to denote a mode of thinking which assumes that all manifestations of gender difference are innate, trans-cultural and historical. Essentialism in this formulation makes constant reference back to biological differences between the sexes, using this logic to explain wider behavioural manifestations of sexual difference. This form of biological essentialism was largely rejected by the majority of feminists in favour of a social constructionist view of gender relations, the better to question the tendency to regard preferred social behaviours, skills and attributes as masculine.
More recently, feminists ...