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Subverting Essentialisms

Hypatia 6 (3):208-217 (1991)

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  1. 'Back to the Rough Ground!' : Wittgenstein, Essentialism, and Feminist Methods.Cressida Jane Heyes - unknown
    This dissertation seeks to fill two lacunae in contemporary feminist discussions of essentialism: first, a lack of critical analysis of the term "essentialism" and its cognates, and second, a paucity of feminist work that aims to develop anti-essentialist methods rather than merely presenting anti-essentialist critiques of existing feminist theories. I propose a typology of feminist essentialisms, distinguishing metaphysical, biological, linguistic, and methodological variants. I argue that methodological essentialism---understood as the practice of making false generalisations about women based on the experiences (...)
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  • Exclusion and Essentialism in Feminist Theory: The Problem of Mothering.Patrice DiQuinzio - 1993 - Hypatia 8 (3):1 - 20.
    Accounts of mothering have both contributed to feminist theory's development and depended on certain of its central concepts. Some of its critics, however, argue that feminist theory is undermined by the problems of exclusion and essentialism. Here I distinguish between these two problems and consider their implications for questions about mothering. I conclude that exclusion and essentialism do not present insurmountable obstacles to theorizing motherhood, but do suggest new directions for such theorizing.
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