Marxist feminist writers

Marxist Internet Archive library of Feminist Writers


Marxist feminism - wikipedia

Discourse and knowledge have materiality in their effects; one of the material effects of discourse is the construction of the subject but this subject is traversed by differences grounded in hierarchies of inequality which are not local or contingent but historical and systemic, such. Difference, consequently, is not mere plurality but inequality. The problem of the material relationship between language, discourse, and the social or between the discursive ( feminist theory) and the non-discursive (women's lives divided by exploitative and oppressive social relations) can be resolved through the conceptualization of discourse as ideology. A theory of ideology presupposes a theory of the social and this theory, which informs Hennessy's critical reading of postmodern theories of the subject, discourse, positionality, language, etc., is what she calls a "global analytic" which, in light of her references to multinational capitalism, the. But references to historical materialism, and Althusser's theory of ideology and the notion of symptomatic reading are so important in the development of her arguments that one wonders about her hesitation to name marxism or historical materialism as the theory of the social underlying her. E., marx's theory of capitalism, the totality she so often mentions together with patriarchy as sources of the exploitation and oppression of women and as the basis for the "axis of differences" that traverse the discursive category "woman." to sum up, hennessy's version of MatFem. This is made possible by understanding discourse as ideology and linking ideology to its material base in the "global analytic." In Hennessy's analysis, historical materialism seems like an ever present but muted shadow, latent under terms such as totality, systemic, and global analytic. However, in the introduction to materialist Feminism: a reader in Class, difference and Women's lives, written with her co-editor, Chrys Ingraham, there is a clear, unambiguous return to historical materialism, a recognition of its irreplaceable importance for feminist theory and politics.

Marguerite duras: Marxism, feminism, Writing - jstor

Contradiction is not equivalent to about conflict, for conflicts can be resolved within a given system of relations, whereas contradiction can be resolved solely through qualitative social change. Finally, references to ideologies, exploitation, imperialism, oppression, colonialism, etc. Confirm precisely that which the authors intended to dispel: materialism would seem to be an alias for Marxism, a marxism suitably modified, however, to grant materiality (meaning, perhaps, objectivity, reality, for and equal causal efficacy) to everything. Rosemary hennessy (1993) traces the origins of Materialist Feminism in the work of British and French feminists who preferred the term materialist feminism to marxist feminism because, in their view, marxism had to be transformed to be able to explain the sexual division of labour. In the 1970s, hennessy states, marxism was inadequate to the task because of its class bias and focus on production, while feminism was also problematic due to its essentialist and idealist concept of woman; this is why matFem emerged as a positive alternative both. The combined effects of the postmodern critique of the empirical self and the criticisms voiced by women who did not see themselves included in the generic woman subject of academic feminist theorizing resulted, in the 1990s, in materialist feminist analyses that "problematize 'woman'. Women's lives are every where affected by world capitalism and patriarchy and it would be politically self- defeating to replace that critique with localized, fragmented political strategies and a perception of social reality as characterized by a logic of contingency. Hennessy's views on the characteristics of MatFem emerge through her critical engagement with the works of Laclau and mouffe, foucault, Kristeva and other theorists of the postmodern. MatFem is a "way of reading" that rejects the dominant pluralist paradigms and logics of contingency and seeks to establish the connections between the discursively constructed differentiated subjectivities that have replaced the generic "woman" in feminist theorizing, and the hierarchies of inequality that exploit and. Subjectivities, in other words, cannot be understood in isolation from systemically organized totalities. MatFem, as a reading practice, is also a way of explaining or re- writing and making sense of the world and, as such, influences reality through the knowledges it produces about the subject and her social context.

These contradictions also have histories, operate in ideologies, and are grounded in material bases and effects. They should be granted material weight in social and literary analysis calling itself materialist. These categories would eologies of race, sexuality, imperialism and colonialism and anthropocentrism, with their accompanying radical critiques." While this is helpful to understand what contemporary self- identified materialist feminists mean when they refer to matFem, it does not shed light on the meaning of material. The main concept, materialism, remains summary undefined; at times it seems to mean real or objective (e.g., gender and race are as real as class or central, meaning determinant, having causal effects (e.g., ideologies are just as central or have as much "material weight" as class). Underlying these ideas lurk the specters of "class reductionism" and "economic determinism a stereotypical understanding of Marx and the marxist tradition used to argue for the superiority of claims defined, essentially, as their abstract negation. Also lurking are Althusser's views on the materiality of ideology, now expanded to analyze all forms of oppression and oppositional identities, but with a crucial difference: while for Althusser the level of production and, consequently, the contradictions between capital and labor and between the forces. E., none can set parameters for the conditions of possibility and development of the others. And what is the nature of the other "contradictions" materialist feminists should recognize?

marxist feminist writers

Marxist Feminism literary Theory and Criticism Notes

Is that really the case? If so, what is this materialism that lurked under the variety of feminist theories produced on both sides of the Atlantic since the late 1960s? Does reference to "material conditions" in general or to "the material conditions of the oppression of women" suffice as a basis for assignments constructing a new theoretical framework, qualitatively different from MarxFem? The authors argue that feminist theories focused exclusively on gender and dual systems theories that bring together gender and class analysis face methodological and political problems that "deconstructive reading practices can help solve they propose "the articulation of discontinuous movements, materialism and feminism, an articulation. Deconstruction as tool of political critique. But isn't the linking between deconstruction and Marxism what gives it its critical edge? It is in the conclusion that the authors, aiming to demonstrate that materialism is not an alias for Marxism, outline the difference between MarxFem and MatFem as follows: " Marxist feminism holds class contradictions resume and class analysis central, and has tried various ways of working. In addition to class contradictions and contradictions within gender ideology. We are arguing that materialist feminism should recognize as material other contradictions as well.

There is, according to williams, an "indissoluble connection between material production, political and cultural institutions and activity, and consciousness. Language is practical consciousness, a way of thinking and acting in the world that has material consequences. Williams, they point out, "strives to put human subjects as agents of culture back into materialist debate." The implications of these statements is that "humans as agents of culture" are not present in historical materialism and that Marx's views on the relationship between material conditions. But anyone familiar with Marx's work knows that this is not the case. In fact, it is Marx who wrote that "language is practical consciousness" and posited language as the matter that burdens "spirit" from the very start, for consciousness is always and from the very first a social product. Landry and Maclean present an account of the development of feminist thought from the late 1960s to the present divided in three moments: the encounters and debates between marxism and feminism in Britain and the. S.; the institutionalization and commodification of feminism; and "deconstructive materialist feminism." These are "three moments of materialist feminism" a very interesting statement that suggest that MatFem - a rather problematic and elusive concept which reflects, in my view, postmodern sensibilities about culture and about the.

Marxism and Feminism in the student movement

marxist feminist writers

Feminist Perspectives on Class and Work (Stanford Encyclopedia

"there are areas of essay material interest in the fact that women can bear children. Is less likely than social constructionism to be embarrassed by the occasional material importance of sex differences." Insistence on the importance of material conditions, material historical moments as a complex of social relations which include and influence gender hierarchy, the materiality of the body and. There azam is no theory of history or of social relations or of the production of gender hierarchies that could give guidance about the meaning of whatever it is observed in a given "material historical moment." Landry and MacLean, authors of materialist feminisms, tell us that. And Britain and explore the implications of those debates for literary and cultural theory. The terrain of those early debates, which were aimed at a possible integration or synthesis between Marxism and feminism, shifted due to the emergence of identity politics, concern with postcolonialism, sexuality, race, nationalism, etc., and the impact of postmodernism and post- structuralism.

The new terrain has to do with the "construction of a materialist analysis of culture informed by and responsive to the concerns of women, as well as people of color and other marginalized groups." For Landry and Maclean, matFem is a "critical reading e critical. (is) a potential site of political contestation through critique, not through the constant reiteration of home-truths." Theirs is a "deconstructive materialist feminist perspective." But what, precisely, does materialist mean in this context? What theory of history and what politics inform this critique? Although they define materialism in a philosophical and moral sense, and bring up the difference between mechanical or "vulgar" materialism and historical materialism, there is no definition of what materialism means when linked to feminism. Cultural materialism, as developed in raymond William's work, is presented as a remedy or supplement to marx's historical materialism.

But wasn't Engels' analysis materialist? And didn't Marxist Feminists (Margaret Benston and Peggy morton come to mind) explore the ways production - public and domestic - oppressed and exploited women? These brief comments about Vogel's understanding of MatFem highlight some of its problematic aspects as a term intended to identify a specific trend within feminist theory. It can blur, as it does in this instance, the qualitative differences that existed and continue to exist between Socialist Feminism, the dominant strand of feminist thought in the. During the late 1960s and 1970s, and the marginalized Marxist Feminism.


I am not imputing such motivations to lise vogel; i am simply pointing out the effects of such an interpretation. Socialist Feminism which, despite the use of Marxist terms and references to capitalism developed, theoretically, as a sort of feminist abstract negation of Marxism. Other feminists, for different reasons, would also disagree with Vogel's interpretation. For Toril moi and Janice radway, for example, the relationship between Socialist Feminism and MatFem "is far from clear.". As editors of a special issue of The south Atlantic quarterly dedicated to this topic, they do not offer a theory or a clear definition of the term. Presumably, the issue's content will give the reader the elements necessary to define the term for herself, because all the authors "share a commitment to concrete historical and cultural analysis, and to feminism understood as an 'emancipatory narrative. One of these authors, jennifer Wicke, defines MatFem as follows: "a feminism that insists on examining the material conditions under which social arrangements, including those of gender hierarchy, develop. Materialist feminism avoids seeing this (gender hierarchy) as the effect of a singular. Patriarchy and instead gauges the web of social and psychic relations that make up a material, historical moment ".materialist feminism argues that material conditions of all sorts play a vital role in the social production of gender and assays the different ways in which women.

Marxist Feminism - umbc

Take, for example, lise vogel's work. I always considered Vogel. Marxist, feminist because, unlike socialist Feminists (whose avoidance of Marx's alleged reductionisms led them to postulate ahistorical theories of patriarchy she took marxism seriously and her analysis of reproduction as a basis for the oppression of women is firmly grounded within the. However, the subtitle of her recent book (a collection of previously published essays is "Essays for a materialist Feminism self-identifying as a socialist feminist, she states that socialist feminists "sought to replace the socialist tradition's theorizing about the woman question with a 'materialist' understanding. Marxist theory, outside history. Materialism, vogel tells us, was used to highlight the key role of production - including domestic production - in determining the conditions leading to the oppression of women. Materialism was also used as "a flag to situate socialist Feminism within feminist thought and within the left; materialist feminism, vogel argues, cannot travel therefore be reduced to a trend in cultural studies, as some literary critics would prefer.

marxist feminist writers

an electronic discussion list on Materialist Feminism, matFem (lorado. Initially, i thought that MatFem was simply another way of referring to marxFem, but I was mistaken; the two are distinct forms of feminist theorizing. There is, however, such similarities between them in some feminists' work, that some degree of confusion between the two is to be expected. In this essay, i will identify the differences between these two important currents within feminist theory, and the reasons for the return of feminist appeals to materialism at a time when the theoretical shift towards idealism and contingency seems hegemonic in the academy. Given the conflicting views that co-exist under the materialist cover, i will argue for clear break between Materialist and. Marxist, feminisms, and for a return to the latter necessitated by the devastating effects of capitalism on women and, consequently, the political importance of a theoretically adequate analysis of the causes of their plight. What is Materialist Feminism? To define matFem is not an easy task; theorists who self- identify as materialist or as marxist feminists differ in their understanding of what these labels mean and, consequently, the kind of knowledges they produce. Depending on their theoretical allegiances and self-understanding, feminists may differ in their classification of other feminists' works, so that clear lines of theoretical demarcation between and within these two umbrella terms are somewhat difficult to establish.

Marxist theory to write understand the capitalist sources of the oppression of women). These are, of course, oversimplified descriptions of a rich and complex body of literature which, however, reflected important theoretical, political and social cleavages among women that continue to this date. Divisions in feminist thought multiplied as the effects of post-structuralist and post-modern theorizing emerged alongside with grass roots challenges to a feminism perceived as the expression of the needs and concerns of middle and upper middle class white, "First World" women. In the process, the subject of feminism became increasingly difficult to define, as the post-modern critique of "woman" as an essentialist category together with critiques grounded in racial, ethnic, sexual preference and national origin differences resulted in a seemingly never ending proliferation of "subject positions. Marxist feminists primarily) class divisions among women; today class has been reduced to another "ism. E., to another form oppression which, together with gender and race integrate a sort of mantra, something that everyone ought to include in theorizing and research though, to my knowledge, theorizing about it remains at the level of metaphors (e.g., interweaving, interaction, interconnection etc.). It was, therefore, very interesting to me to read, a few years ago, a call for papers for an edited book on Materialist Feminism (MatFem).

Uncovering Black marxist feminism International Socialist review

What's material about materialist feminism? A, marxist, feminist, critique, martha. Gimenez, department of Sociology. University of Colorado at boulder, boulder, colorado, published. Radical philosophy, 101 (May/June 2000 18-19, and posted here with melisande permission from the publishers. Introduction, it was possible, in the heady days of the women's Liberation movement, to identify four main currents within feminist thought; Liberal (concerned with attaining economic and political equality within the context of capitalism radical (focused on men and patriarchy as the main causes. Marxist, feminism (a theoretical position held by relatively few feminists in the. myself included - which sought to develop the potential.


Marxist feminist writers
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marxist Feminism / Materialist. Qualitatively different from.

3 Comment

  1. The essays here represent a profoundly warm, human way of thinking through some of the toughest political problems of our age. Marxism, feminism and womens. The wing of feminism that has been given the least attention is that of socialist- feminists and, marxist - feminists -who i now.

  2. Marxist feminists emphasise how capitalism uses the family to oppresses women, and the harmful consequences of the family to womens lives For example margaret Benston (1972) argued that capitalism benefits from an army of women an unpaid workforce. What s material about materialist feminism? Gimenez department of Sociology University of Colorado at boulder. marxism and, feminism is a serious, nuanced collection that covers a great deal of ground in a clear and concise way.

  3. Introduction gender and Globalization: Marxist, feminist. Some feminist writers argue that the integration. With a call for a new. Feminist writers have had a lot more influence on the family than any other perspective.

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