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A defence of the category 'women'
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centre for feminist social studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7766-8696
2011 (English)In: Feminist Theory, ISSN 1464-7001, E-ISSN 1741-2773, Vol. 12, no 1, 23-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Against influential strands of feminist theory, I argue that there is nothing essentialist or homogenising about the category ‘women’. I show that both intersectional claims that it is impossible to separate out the ‘woman part’ of women, and deconstructionist contentions that the category ‘women’ is a fiction, rest on untenable meta-theoretical assumptions. I posit that a more fruitful way of approaching this disputed category is to treat it as an abstraction. Drawing on the philosophical framework of critical realism I elucidate the nature of the vital and inevitable process of abstraction, as a means of finding a way out of the theoretical and methodological impasse that the ‘ban’ on the category ‘women’ has caused. Contrary to many contemporary feminist theorists, I contend that, although the category ‘women’ does not reflect the whole reality of concrete and particular women, it nevertheless refers to something real, namely the structural position as woman.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage Publications, 2011. Vol. 12, no 1, 23-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Abstraction, Judith Butler, critical realism, essentialism, intersectionality, Chandra Talpade Mohanty
Keyword [sv]
abstraktion, Judith Butler, kritisk realism, essentialism, intersektionalitet, Chandra Talpade Mohanty
National Category
Social Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15454DOI: 10.1177/1464700110390604ISI: 000290146000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79955746360OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15454DiVA: diva2:414404
Available from: 2011-05-03 Created: 2011-05-03 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf