Gender and Agency
Reconfiguring the Subject in Feminist and Social Theory
By (author) Lois McNay
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Gender and Agency by Lois McNay
Book DescriptionThis book reassesses theories of agency and gender identity against the backdrop of changing relations between men and women in contemporary societies. McNay argues that recent thought on the formation of the modern subject offers a one--sided or negative account of agency, which underplays the creative dimension present in the responses of individuals to changing social relations. An understanding of this creative element is central to a theory of autonomous agency, and also to an explanation of the ways in which women and men negotiate changes within gender relations. 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780745613499
(229mm x 152mm x 10mm)
Imprint: Polity Press
Publisher: Polity Press
Publish Date: 31-May-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Lois McNay
Misguided Search for the Political, Paperback (April 2014)
There has been a lively debate amongst political theorists about whether certain liberal concepts of democracy are so idealized that they lack relevance to real politics.
Against Recognition, Paperback (December 2007)
The struggle for recognition features prominently in the work of various thinkers. Lois McNay argues that the insights of the recognition theorists are undercut by their reliance on an inadequate account of power. By focussing on issues of gender she develops an alternative account of individual agency that connects identity to structure.
Gender and Agency, Hardback (May 2000)
This volume reassesses theories of agency and gender identity against the backdrop of changing relations between men and women in contemporary societies.
Foucault, Paperback (September 1994)» View all books by Lois McNay
This text examines all Foucault's work, including his final writings on governmentality and the self. The author examines the way in which the latter relate to his previous theories of power and the body. She also assesses the normative and political implications of his social criticism.
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Author Biography - Lois McNay
Lois McNay is Lecturer in Politics and Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.
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