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    Only contradictions on offer

    Segal, Lynne (1999) Only contradictions on offer. Women: A Cultural Review 11 (1/2), pp. 19-36. ISSN 0957-4042.

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    Segal addresses feminism's future at a time when political energies are apparently in decline. She explores the contradictory models of feminism operating in political and media representations: the dominance of gender questions and gender anxieties, including the marked concern with models of 'proper' masculinity, inevitably implicates feminists in the political arena. The decline in political engagement among feminists is in any case disturbing, because women without power have been made the central targets of neo-conservative social policies in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, with the female 'welfare dependent' becoming particularly demonized. The failure of feminists to address such issues results from the decline of socialist feminisms, and a general failure within feminism to make class and race differences, and the inequalities that result from them, the central plank of its theories and politics. Segal calls attention to the divorce between feminist theory and feminist activism, and argues that the politics of the academy have largely contributed to a disciplinary specialization which militates against feminism's productive interdisciplinarity. While the literary paradigms that now dominate feminist thought have produced rich models for subjectivity and identity, the decrease in social science contributions to the field has led to a lessening of attention to existing social relations. Segal insists upon the necessity of a continuing engagement with cultural questions, but argues that these need to be combined with a commitment to radical social transformation if feminisms, in all their complexity and multifariousness, are to have a future.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 13:28
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:35


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