Retrieving Experience

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-02-01
  • Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr

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In Subjectivity, Identity, Difference, Sonia Kruks engages critically with the postmodern turn in feminist and social theory. She contends that, although postmodern analyses yield important insights about the place of discourse in constituting subjectivity, they lack the ability to examine how experience often exceeds the limits of discourse. To address this lack and explain why it matters for feminist politics, Kruks retrieves and employs aspects of postwar French existential theory -- a tradition that, she argues, postmodernism has obscured by militantly rejecting its own genealogy.

Kruks seeks to refocus our attention on the importance for feminism of embodied and "lived" experiences. Through her original readings of Simone de Beauvoir and other existential thinkers -- including Sartre, Fanon, and Merleau-Ponty -- and her own analyses inspired by their work, Kruks sheds new light on central problems in feminist theory and politics. These include debates about subjectivity and individual agency; questions about recognition and identity politics; and discuss

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction 1(26)
Part 1 Simone de Beauvoir in ``Her'' World and ``Ours''
Freedoms That Matter: Subjectivity and Situation in the Work of Beauvoir, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty
Panopticism and Shame: Foucault, Beauvoir, and Feminism
Part 2 Recognition, Knowledge, and Identity
The Politics of Recognition: Sartre, Fanon, and Identity Politics
Identity Politics and Dialectical Reason: Beyond an Epistemology of Provenance
Part 3 Experience and the Phenomenology of Difference
Going Beyond Discourse: Feminism, Phenomenology, and ``Women's Experience''
Phenomenology and Difference: On the Possibility of Feminist ``World-Travelling''
Bibliography 177(14)
Index 191

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