Gender and knowledge : elements of a postmodern feminism /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Hekman, Susan J.
Imprint:Boston : Northeastern University Press, 1990.
Description:vi, 212 p. ; 24 cm.
Series:Northeastern series in feminist theory
Subject:Feminist theory
Feminist theory.
Format: Print Book
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ISBN:1555530877 : $27.50
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. [191]-209) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Hekman's extremely timely and valuable work takes up, in a systematic way, the relationship between feminism and postmodernism. These two perspectives are usually seen as divergent: feminist philosophy, maintaining an ontological, epistemological, and ethical foundationalism, is rooted in the notion of an essential feminine nature or experience; postmodernism, by criticizing the notion of a privileged position for moral judgment and action, is seen as nihilistic in its tendencies. By focusing on the commonality of the critique both perspectives offer of Enlightenment rationality, Hekman argues that they can complement each other in very important ways. Postmodernism can show that the acceptance of any dichotomy (and Hekman here focuses on the rational versus the irrational, subject versus object, nature versus culture) will lead to a valorization of one at the expense of the other. Feminism, on the other hand, can extend Foucault's notion of discourse theory and offer an understanding of how gender is constituted by language. The book is an excellent resource for feminist theorists. Hekman's discussion includes virtually every major contributor to the philosophical foundations of feminism, and her bibliography is unusually extensive and complete, drawing from a wide range of fields. Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates and up. -M. Feder-Marcus, SUNY College at Old Westbury

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review