• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Feminist theory has undergone continuous evolution since its recognized establishment in 1963. Sondra Farganis's insightful volume revisits feminist philosophy's turbulent beginnings, and explores the myriad political and social factors influencing its development during the past three decades. The author also considers the interaction between feminism and the greater women's movement, discussing not only the commonalities but the differences among women of various cultures and experiences. Finally, she recounts four of the most controversial, women-centered court cases of recent years, identifying elements of feminist theory--and how they affected, or were affected by--the social and political context in which they occurred. Inspiring new directions in critical thought and theoretical advancement, Situating Feminism will prove an essential resource for students and professionals in the areas of women's and culture studies, political science, social work, communication, and psychology. “Sondra Farganis does not shy away from rigorous arguments or moral issues, dealing directly with the relationship of postmodernism and feminism, and the concerns that the former undermines the latter. She capably moves among writers like Berger and Luckman, Freire, Habermas, and Butler…. Ultimately, the strength of this book is its ability to present a wide range of feminist political and social theories in a coherent fashion while demonstrating its application to actual real-life situations.” --Affilia “Sondra Farganis has written a concise study on the situation of feminist thought in relation to contemporary social controversies. She analyzes the Nussbaum (domestic violence and victimization), Baby M (motherhood and surrogacy), Sears (employment and affirmative action), and Hill/Thomas (race and sexual harassment) cases in a broad theoretical context. Farganis outlines major themes … and conflicts … within feminist thought, illustrating how these played out in the resolution of the cases.” --Choice

The Baby M Case
The baby M case

In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf (1929/1957) writes that:

when a subject is highly controversial—and any question about sex is that—one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker. (p. 4)

Talk about sex has to navigate through a human minefield of diversity of positions and practices, which, in this postmodern moment in time, is itself suspicious about “the truth.”

Two aspects of the current crisis of gender politics are explicable in both cultural and institutional terms. First, communities have cultures that ...

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