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Feminist Theory Today: An Introduction to Second-Wave Feminism

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Feminist Theory Today: An Introduction to Second-Wave Feminism

Judith Evans

Pub. date: 1998 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446222140 | Print ISBN: 9780803984790 | Online ISBN: 9781446222140 | Publisher:SAGE Publications Ltd

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Chapter 9: The Postmodernist Challenge

The postmodernist challenge Postmodernism and poststructuralism 1 comprise feminism's third difference: a difference within woman. Some see this as a difference between individual women: I tend to think it means a ‘difference within’, the fragmentation of, the self. Both are relevant to feminism's project; I see the second, some view both, as antithetical to its cause. Postmodernism challenges both equality, and ‘difference’ as employed so far: as sex or gender based, and as existing between female groups. Rather than attempt to define it fully, I single out aspects crucial to feminist thought. I discuss in turn postmodernism's rejection of ‘grand narratives’, and its relativism; différance and deconstruction; and the ‘death of the subject’. I begin with the grand narrative. Postmodernists proclaim the end of, an end to the validity of, all-embracing ideologies and world views which proclaim Truth. They renounce all such belief systems, also called totalizing: they do not ...

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