Constituting Feminist Subjects

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by Kathi Weeks

A groundbreaking attempt to theorise the feminist subject

One of the most important tasks for contemporary feminist theory is to develop a concept of the subject able to meet the challenges facing feminist politics. Although theorists in the 1980s raised the problem of feminist subjectivity, Kathi Weeks contends that the limited nature of that discussion now blocks the further development of feminist theory.

While the problems of an already constituted essentialist subject have become patent, what remains as an ongoing project, Weeks contends, is a theory of the constitution of subjects capable of explaining the processes of social construction. This book presents one such account. Drawing on a number of different theoretical frameworks, including feminist standpoint theory, socialist feminism, and poststructuralist thought, as well as theories of peformativity and self-valorization, the author proposes a nonessential feminist subject—a theory of constituting subjects.