- Feminist Theory: Transforming the Known World
- Coloniality of Gender and Power: From Postcoloniality to Decoloniality
- Cyborgs and Virtual Bodies
- Formal, Informal, and Care Economies
- Feminist Jurisprudence
- Feminist Standpoint
- Gendered Divisions of Labor
- Intersexuality, Transgender, and Transsexuality
- Microphysics of Power
- Militarization and War
- Norms and Normalization
- Performativity and Performance
- The Personal Is Political
- Pop Culture/Visual Culture
- Posthuman Feminist Theory
- Pregnancy, Personhood, and the Making of the Fetus
- Race and Racialization
- Reproduction: From Rights to Justice?
- Science Studies
- Sexual Difference
- Subjectivity and Subjectivation
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter introduces readers to feminist theory as a multifaceted and multi-sited project, not a bounded field. Grounded in the political struggles for women’s empowerment that have emerged in all regions of the world and convinced of the arbitrariness of exclusion based on sexual difference, feminist theory has flourished as a mode of critical theory that illuminates the limitations of popular assumptions about sex, race, sexuality, and gender. This introduction identifies three common characteristics of feminist theory projects in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries: (1) efforts to denaturalize that which passes for difference, (2) efforts to challenge the aspiration to produce universal and impartial knowledge, and (3) efforts to engage the complexity of power relations through intersectional analysis. It sets the stage for the principal aim of this Handbook: to demonstrate how feminist theory is crucial to grasping the power dynamics operating in contemporary life.
Lisa Disch is Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Michigan.
Mary Hawkesworth, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University.
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