Synopses & Reviews
Undoing Gender deepens issues introduced by Butler's earlier scholarship: the materiality of the body, the meaning and instrument of human agency, the relation between power and the psyche or power and the body, psychic triangulation and the incest taboo, the political limits and conditions of psychoanalysis, and the ramifications of rights discourse for those who are, by definition, unauthorized to make use of those terms. The volume ends with a reflection on the way that philosophy is, and must be, engaged with cultural questions of how power works. Undoing Gender will be essential reading for all serious readers interested in gender and sexuality, and in questions of philosophy, language, and the body.
Undoing Gender constitutes Judith Butler's recent reflections on gender and sexuality, focusing on new kinship, psychoanalysis and the incest taboo, transgender, intersex, diagnostic categories, social violence, and the tasks of social transformation. In terms that draw from feminist and queer theory, Butler considers the norms that govern--and fail to govern--gender and sexuality as they relate to the constraints on recognizable personhood. The book constitutes a reconsideration of her earlier view on gender performativity from Gender Trouble. In this work, the critique of gender norms is clearly situated within the framework of human persistence and survival. And to "do" one's gender in certain ways sometimes implies "undoing" dominant notions of personhood. She writes about the "New Gender Politics" that has emerged in recent years, a combination of movements concerned with transgender, transsexuality, intersex, and their complex relations to feminist and queer theory.