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Description - Essentially Speaking by Diana Fuss

What is the nature of difference? is there an essential femininity? an essential blackness? an essential gayness? Is 'women's experience' essentially different from that of men? Is the difference of 'race' socially constructed? Is 'homosexuality' a function of nature or culture? On such key issues the lines of debate are being drawn: the essentialists stand for innate difference, the constructionists turn to social and cultural influence. In this powerful book, Diana Fuss takes on the debate of pure essence vs. social construct and clarifies the issues at stake. Fuss demonstrates a keen understanding of contemporary feminist theory, including the important work of French critics Luce Irigaray and Monique Wittig, of the positions of Afro-American critics Houston Baker and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and of the politics of gay identity. Using a feminist poststructuralist perspective, she addresses the strengths and limitations of both essentialism and constructionism, reassessing and recasting these heavily invested terms. Fuss shows the pitfalls of the essence/construct opposition, the energies and politics motivating the two positions, and the possibilities each offers for advancing our understanding of gender identity and experience, of race and ethnicity, of homosexuality, of male feminism, of pedagogy and politics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415901338
ISBN-10: 0415901332
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1990
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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