Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"

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9780415903660: Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"
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In Bodies That Matter, Judith Butler further develops her distinctive theory of gender by examining the workings of power at the most "material" dimensions of sex and sexuality. Deepening the inquiries she began in Gender Trouble, Butler offers an original reformulation of the materiality of bodies, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the "matter" of bodies, sex, and gender.
Butler argues that power operates to constrain "sex" from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She offers a clarification of the notion of "performativity" introduced in Gender Trouble and explores the meaning of a citational politics. The text includes readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud on the formation of materiality and bodily boundaries; "Paris is Burning," Nella Larsen's "Passing," and short stories by Willa Cather; along with a reconsideration of "performativity" and politics in feminist, queer, and radical democratic theory.

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Review:

"As a philosopher of gender [Judith Butler] is unparalleled." – Village Voice

"Butler gives us a new way to think about the materiality of the body in the discursive performity operative in the materialization of sex. Following a common move in postmodern feminism, Butler sets out to demolish the sex/gender distinction that has formed the mainstay of the de Beauvorian and radical feminism's notion that gender, as a cultural construction, could be critiqued and politicized against the givenness of the body's biological sex. . . .What is new in Bodies That Matter is Butler's attempt to write more directly about race." – Signs

"Extending the brilliant style of interrogation that made her 1990 book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity a landmark of gender theory/queer theory, Butler here continues to refine our understandings of the complexly performative character of sexuality and gender and to trouble our assumptions about the inherent subversiveness of dissident sexualities. . . . indispensable reading across the wide range of concerns that queer theory is currently addressing." – Artforum

"What the implications/limitations of 'sexing' are and how the process works comprise the content of this strikingly perceptive book. . . . Butler has written a most significant and provocative work that addresses issues of immediate social concern." – The Boston Book Review

"A brilliant and original analysis." – Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers University, USA

"...a classic." – Elizabeth Grosz

 

 

 

From the Back Cover:

Bodies that Matter is a brilliant and original analysis. Butler's argumentation is rigorous and her insights always new and challenging. Her erudition is outstanding, and she engages with a broad sweep of texts, bringing exciting interpretations to all of her readings. This book will be essential reading in feminism, cultural studies, philosophy and political theory.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780415610155: Bodies That Matter (Routledge Classics)

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ISBN 10:  041561015X ISBN 13:  9780415610155
Publisher: Routledge, 2011
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9780415903653: Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex

Routledge, 1993
Hardcover

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