David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Feminist Theory 12 (1):23-37 (2011)
Against influential strands of feminist theory, I argue that there is nothing essentialist or homogenising about the category ‘women’. I show that both intersectional claims that it is impossible to separate out the ‘woman part’ of women, and deconstructionist contentions that the category ‘women’ is a fiction, rest on untenable meta-theoretical assumptions. I posit that a more fruitful way of approaching this disputed category is to treat it as an abstraction. Drawing on the philosophical framework of critical realism I elucidate the nature of the vital and inevitable process of abstraction, as a means of finding a way out of the theoretical and methodological impasse that the ‘ban’ on the category ‘women’ has caused. Contrary to many contemporary feminist theorists, I contend that, although the category ‘women’ does not reflect the whole reality of concrete and particular women, it nevertheless refers to something real, namely the structural position as woman.
|Keywords||abstraction Judith Butler critical realism essentialism feminism intersectionality Chandra Talpade Mohanty social structure women|
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Angela Martinez Dy, Lee Martin & Susan Marlow (2014). Developing a Critical Realist Positional Approach to Intersectionality. Journal of Critical Realism 13 (5):447-466.
Vivian M. May (2014). “Speaking Into the Void”? Intersectionality Critiques and Epistemic Backlash. Hypatia 29 (1):94-112.
Lena Gunnarsson (2011). Love – Exploitable Resource or 'No-Lose Situation'? Reconciling Jónasdóttir's Feminist View with Bhaskar's Philosophy of Meta-Reality. Journal of Critical Realism 10 (4):419-441.
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