Grounding agency in depth: The implications of Merleau-ponty's thought for the politics of feminism [Book Review]

Human Studies 19 (2):175-184 (1996)
While poststructuralist feminist theorists have clarified our understanding of the gendered subject as produced through a matrix of language, culture, and psycho-sexual affects, they have found agency difficult to ground. I argue that this is because in these theories the body has served primarily as an inscribed surface. In response to this surface body, particular to this age, I have turned to Merleau-Ponty's concept of depth which allows us to theorize the agency crucial to feminist politics. While the poststructuralists' rejection of depth is largely due to its roots in Cartesian rationality, depth is much more than this. Rather than allowing for the impossibility of political action, depth means that as bodily moving and acting subjects we are part of Being, and thus part of the questions raised in this age, even if it is a mark of this age that this tends to be forgotten.
Keywords embodiment  Merleau-Ponty  depth
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00131492
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Rey Chow (1992). Postmodern Automatons. In Judith Butler & Joan Wallach Scott (eds.), Feminists Theorize the Political. Routledge 101--117.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #160,237 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.