Thesis Eleven 134 (1):73-88 (2016)

Paddy McQueen
Swansea University
This paper examines recent forms of post-identity thought within contemporary gender theory, specifically the works of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Bobby Noble. Despite the many insights that these theories offer, I argue that they suffer from what Lois McNay has labelled ‘social weightlessness’ insofar as their models of subjectivity and agency are disconnected from the everyday realities of social subjects. I identify two ways in which this social weightlessness is manifested in radical gender theories that endorse a post-identity politics: they overlook the social and political importance to many individuals of establishing stable, coherent identities; they are unable to offer a satisfactory account of agency. I suggest that these issues arise, at least in part, from the anti-recognition stance adopted by such radical gender theorists. I argue that by incorporating a properly nuanced model of recognition back into their theories they can imbue their accounts with a properly grounded model of the subject that is responsive to the inequalities and oppressions that infuse the particular concrete contexts in which we experience and live out our identities.
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DOI 10.1177/0725513616646024
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References found in this work BETA

Undoing Gender.J. Butler - 2004 - Routledge.

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Real Talk on the Metaphysics of Gender.Robin Dembroff - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):21-50.

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Gender.Claire Colebrook - 2003 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory.Jan E. Stets & Peter J. Burke - 2000 - Social Psychology Quarterly 63 (3):224-237.


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