Acknowledged as one of the most influential thinkers of modern times, an understanding of Judith Butler's work is ever more essential to an understanding of not just the landscape of cultural and critical theory, but of the world around us. Understanding Judith Butler, however, can be perceived as a complex and difficult undertaking.

It needn't be. Using contemporary and topical examples from the media, popular culture and everyday life, this lively and accessible introduction shows how the issues, concepts, and theories in Butler's work function as socio-cultural practices.

Giving due consideration to Butler's earlier and most recent work, and showing how her ideas on subjectivity, gender, sexuality and language overlap and interrelate, this book gives a better understanding not only of Butler's work, but of its applications to modern-day social and cultural practices and contexts.




In Gender Trouble (1990) Butler examines the ways in which gender is understood and utilised in feminist theory. She draws attention to the persistent critique that within feminism the universalised subject of ‘women’ privileges the experiences of dominant groups within that category, and leaves unexamined the consequences of differences such as race or class (p. 14). Rather than seeking to articulate the means by which feminism might represent women more fully, Butler suggests that the very impetus to do so might in fact mask relations of power antithetical to any transformation of the relations and regulations of gender. Thus, she questions the dominant assumption in feminist theory that feminist politics should be a representational politics organised around the category of women, and suggests that ...

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