Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Discursive Theories of Gender
Elisabeth K. Kelan
Discursive theories of gender see gender as something that is enacted on a daily basis through discourse. This understanding is in contrast to seeing gender as a property of persons or a set of adjectives associated with a person. Discursive theories of gender are part of wider approaches that see gender as a social construction, and they are thus central to understanding gender and society. What is unique about discursive approaches to gender is that discourses are seen as producing certain gendered subjects. Discourse is a contested term, and many approaches lay claim to the term. The term discourse comes from the Latin word discurrere, which literally means to run to or through without objective. Discourse can refer to a poststructural definition often linked to Foucauldian theories and to a more linguistic understanding of language in use. In the Foucauldian understanding, discourse refers to the regulatory system that creates Judith ...