Toward a Theoretical Outline of the Subject: The Centrality of Adorno and Lacan for Feminist Political Theorizing

Political Theory 36 (3):351-376 (2008)
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In this article, I draw on Adorno's concept of the non-identical in conjunction with Lacan's concept of the Real to propose a "theoretical outline of the subject" as central for feminist political theorizing. A theoretical outline of the subject recognizes the limits of theorizing, the moment where meaning fails, and we are confronted with the impossibility of grasping the subject entirely. At the same time, it insists on the importance of a coherent subject to effect transformations in the sociopolitical sphere. Since the non-identical is more grounded in the material world than the Real, and the Real allows us more than the non-identical to grasp the anxieties and desires that lead to totalizing theories, a complementary Adornian-Lacanian theoretical framework holds a central promise for feminist political theorizing.


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Claudia Leeb
Washington State University

Citations of this work

Levinas, Adorno, and the Ethics of the Material Other.Eric S. Nelson - 2020 - Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press.
Rawlsian and Deleuzian Versions of the Imaginary Domain: A Comparison.Laura Hengehold - 2013 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 27 (3):308-321.

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Marx and the gendered structure of capitalism.Claudia Leeb - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (7):833-859.

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