At no point in recorded history has there been an absence of intense, and heated, discussion about the subject of how to conduct relations between women and men. This Handbook provides a comprehensive guide to these omnipresent issues and debates, mapping the present and future of thinking about feminist theory.

The chapters gathered here present the state of the art in scholarship in the field, covering: Epistemology and marginality; Literary, visual and cultural representations; Sexuality; Macro and microeconomics of gender; Conflict and peace.

The most important consensus in this volume is that a central organizing tenet of feminism is its willingness to examine the ways in which gender and relations between women and men have been (and are) organized. The authors bring a shared commitment to the critical appraisal of gender relations, as well as a recognition that to think ‘theoretically’ is not to detach concerns from lived experience but to extend the possibilities of understanding.

With this focus on theory and theorizing about the world in which we live, this Handbook asks us, across all disciplines and situations, to abandon our taken-for-granted assumptions about the world and interrogate both the origin and the implications of our ideas about gender relations and feminism.

It is an essential reference work for advanced students and academics not only of feminist theory, but of gender and sexuality across the humanities and social sciences.




A section on the economy in a Handbook of Feminist Theory that engages with themes and issues of relevance in the twenty-first century may or may not strike one as an obvious choice. The non-obvious view is based on the pronouncements that the ‘woman question’, at least as far as economic issues are concerned, is no longer relevant. A recent example of this is the cover of The Economist (2009; January 2010 print edition) depicting Rosie the Riveter with a bold large-print call-out claiming ‘We did it!’ and a tagline ‘What happens when women are over half the workforce’. The issue contains an article titled ‘Women and Work. We Did It!’ that refers to ‘the rich world's quiet revolution: women are gradually taking over ...

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