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Post-identity politics and the social weightlessness of radical gender theory / Paddy McQueen

Thesis Eleven, Volume: 134, Issue: 1, Pages: 73 - 88

Swansea University Author: McQueen, Paddy

Abstract

This paper analysis current forms of post-identity politics within contemporary gender theory, notably the works of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Bobby Noble. Although these thinkers offer some important insights, I argue that their theories ultimately suffer from what Lois McNay has labelled...

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Published in: Thesis Eleven
ISSN: 0725-5136 1461-7455
Published: 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48278
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Abstract: This paper analysis current forms of post-identity politics within contemporary gender theory, notably the works of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Bobby Noble. Although these thinkers offer some important insights, I argue that their theories ultimately suffer from what Lois McNay has labelled ‘social weightlessness’. This is because their models of subjectivity and agency are severed from the everyday realities of social subjects. I indicate two ways that this social weightlessness is manifested in radical gender theories which offer a post-identity politics: (1) they underappreciate the social and political importance to many people of establishing stable, coherent identities; (ii) they are unable to offer a satisfactory account of agency. I suggest that these issues result, at least partly, from the anti-recognition stance adopted by these theorists. By incorporating an adequate model of recognition back into their theories, I claim, will equip their accounts with a properly-grounded model of the subject, which is responsive to the inequalities and oppressions that infuse the particular concrete contexts in which we experience and live out our identities.
Keywords: Agency; Gender theory; Identity; Post-identity politics; Recognition; Social weightlessness
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 73
End Page: 88