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Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Theories of Representation & Difference)


Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Theories of Representation & Difference) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The location of the author's investigations, the body itself rather than the sphere of subjective representations of self and of function in cultures, is wholly new.... I believe this work will be a landmark in future feminist thinking." --Alphonso Lingis

"This is a text of rare erudition and intellectual force. It will not only introduce feminists to an enriching set of theoretical perspectives but sets a high critical standard for feminist dialogues on the status of the body." --Judith Butler

Volatile Bodies demonstrates that the sexually specific body is socially constructed: biology or nature is not opposed to or in conflict with culture. Human biology is inherently social and has no pure or natural "origin" outside of culture. Being the raw material of social and cultural organization, it is "incomplete" and thus subject to the endless rewriting and social inscription that constitute all sign systems.

Examining the theories of Freud, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. on the subject of the body, Elizabeth Grosz concludes that the body they theorize is male. These thinkers are not providing an account of "human" corporeality but of male corporeality. Grosz then turns to corporeal experiences unique to women--menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause. Her examination of female experience lays the groundwork for developing theories of sexed corporeality rather than merely rectifying flawed models of male theorists.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 229-245) and index.

About the Author

ELIZABETH GROSZ is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Critical and Cultural Studies, Monash University. She is the author of Sexual Subversions: Three French Feminists and Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction.

Product Details

Grosz, Elizabeth
Grosz, E. A.
Indiana University Press
Bloomington :
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Gender identity
Body, human
Feminist theory
Feminist Studies-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Theories of Representation & Difference
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.42 x 7.1 x 0.76 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Body Image
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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