Antonio Gramsci and feminism: The elusive nature of power

Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (6):684-697 (2009)
From a feminist perspective, I am interested in 'women's ways of knowing' ( Belenky et al., 1997 ) and the relationship between knowledge, difference and power ( Goldberger et al., 1996 ). Here I trace the relevance of Gramsci to my own feminist consciousness, and the part he played in my journey to praxis. I also address feminism's intellectual debts, most particularly in relation to the concept of hegemony. The intellectual context has shifted in emphasis from macro- to micro-narratives which reject Marxism as masculinist and dichotomous. The dilemma has been an overemphasis on the personal-cultural at the expense of the collective-political, distracting us from action for social justice at the same time as globalisation is creating escalating world crises of justice and sustainability. In conclusion, I advocate a re-reading of Gramsci in the light of key feminist critiques of class and patriarchy in order to develop i) analyses based on multiple sites of oppression and ii) action which reaches from local to global through alliances to achieve a more integrated feminist praxis. Throughout, I use 'dis'ability and 'race' to denote the socially constructed nature of these concepts.
Keywords social justice  alliance  patriarchy  difference  global action
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2008.00499.x
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Paulo Freire (2008). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge

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