Introducing the work of three French feminists - Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Michele L Doeuff - Sexual Subversions provides access to the work of these writers. In doing so this book raises some key issues of relevance to feminist research, addressing debates around the nature of feminist theory; the relationship between feminist thinking theory; the relationship between feminist thinking and male-dominated areas of knowledge; the strategies appropriate for developing non-patriarchal or woman-centered knowledges. No book on French feminists would be complete without including the contributions of Kristeva and Irigaray. The inclusion of Le Doeuff's work, which brings a different perspective to bear on the question of sexual difference, provides a counterbalance to literary appropriations of French feminism by Anglo-American readerships. Kristeva, Irigaray and Le Doeuff are the focal points of this study, precisely because each highlights the differences of the others, revealing the frameworks to which the others are committed. Nevertheless, while these writers do not present a common political or theoretical position or form a school, each does address the question of women's autonomy from male definition, affirms the sexual specificity of women, seeks out a femininity women can use to question the patriarchal norms and ideals of femininity and rejects the preordained positions patriarchy allots to woman. This book is intended for students and researchers in women's studies, philosophy and feminism.
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Elizabeth Grosz teaches philosophy at the University of Sydney. Among the many works to which she has contributed are Feminist Challenges and Crossing Boundaries.
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