In exploring the implications of this idea of agency for a theory of gender identity, McNay brings together the work of leading feminist theorists - such as Judith Butler and Nancy Fraser - with the work of key continental social theorists. In particular, she examines the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Paul Ricoeur and Cornelius Castoriadis, each of whom has explored different aspects of the idea of the creativity of action. McNay argues that their thought has interesting implications for feminist ideas of gender, but these have been relatively neglected partly because of the huge influence of the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan in this area. She argues that, despite its suggestive nature, feminist theory must move away from the ideas of Foucault and Lacan if a more substantive account of agency is to be introduced into ideas of gender identity.
This book will appeal to students and scholars in the areas of social theory, gender studies and feminist theory.
The book is organized around the three themes of space, place and gender. It traces the development of ideas about the social nature of space and place and the relation of both to issues of gender and debates within feminism. It is debates in these areas which have been crucial in bringing geography to the centre of social sciences thinking in recent years, and this book includes writings that have been fundamental to that process. Beginning with the economy and social structures of production, it develops a wider notion of spatiality as the product of intersecting social relations. In turn this has lead to conceptions of 'place' as essentially open and hybrid, always provisional and contested. These themes intersect with much current thinking about identity within both feminism and cultural studies.
Each of the themes is preceded by a section which reflects on the development of ideas and sets out the context of their production. The introduction assesses the current state of play and argues for the close relationship of new thinking on each of these themes. This book will be of interest to students in geography, social theory, women's studies and cultural studies.
The new edition expands the base of scholarship into new areas, with 12 entirely new chapters on topics such as the natural sciences, social work, the health sciences, and environmental studies. It extends discussion of the intersections of race, class, gender, and globalization, as well as transgender, transsexualism and the queering of gender identities. All 22 chapters retained from the first edition are updated with the most current scholarship, including a focus on the role that new technologies play in the feminist research process.
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