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"Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse" confronts the impasses in materialist feminist work on rethinking "woman" as a discursively constructed subject. The book looks at the problem of examining critically the social dimensions on which theories of discourse are premised: how such theories understand "materiality"; the relation between "women's experience" and feminist politics, and that between history and discourse. Rosemary Hennessy considers the work of Kristeva, Foucault, Laclau and Mouffe, and argues for a materialist feminist re-articulation of discourse as ideology. Concerns over identity and difference are incorporated into a rewriting of materialist feminism's analysis of women's oppression across capitalist and patriarchal structures. In adapting postmodernist theories in this way, Hennessy develops a project of social change, where feminism, while maintaining its specificity, is necessarily aligned with other emancipatory movements.
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