Knowing Women explores some of the most exciting and new developments in feminist theory, engaging the reader as an active participant in critical debates concerning the status of women as both objects and subjects of knowledge. The book introduces and reappraises key feminist questions concerning sex and gender, biology and the body, sexuality and motherhood. Various psychoanalytical perspectives are critically examined for the light they throw on the social and symbolic constructions of femininity. Later chapters explore theories of the subject and subjectivity, the place of language in the construction of social identities and the relation between discourse, power and knowledge. A concluding chapter focuses on the debate between feminism and post--modernism, stressing the political nature of the feminist project. The debates are presented in a way that will make them accessible to students. Introductions to each chapter lay out the main issues and introduce readings chosen for their clarity and accessibility. Ideal as an introductory textbook in feminism and womena s studies, Knowing Women will also appeal to a wide readership interested in current debates in feminist theory.
Helen Crowley is Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University. Susan Himmelweit is Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University.
Introduction. 1. Discrimination, Subordination and Difference: Feminist Perspectives. 2. Biology, Society and the Female Body. 3. Sexuality. 4. Gender and Mothering. 5. Language and Difference. 6. Subjectivity and Identity. 7. Experience and the Politics of Identity. 8. The Aims and Achievements of Feminist Theory. References. Source list of articles. Acknowledgements. Index.