Download Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies by Elspeth Probyn PDF

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By Elspeth Probyn

Confronted with the possible huge, immense trouble of representing `others', many theorists operating in Cultural reports were turning to themselves as a fashion of conversing concerning the own. In Sexing the Self Elspeth Probyn tackles this question of the intercourse of the self, a topic of significant significance to feminists and but overlooked via feminist conception earlier, to indicate that there are methods of utilizing our gendered selves on the way to converse and theorize non-essential yet embodied selves. Arguing for `feminisms with attitude', Sexing the Self levels throughout a variety of theoretical strands, drawing upon a physique of literature from early Cultural reviews to Anglo-American feminist literary feedback, from `identity debates' to Foucault's `care of the self'.

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However, in one way or another, a ‘literary self’ emerges as a mediation between the everyday structure of life and the textual experiences of other women. Produced in the interaction of ‘real life’ and diegesis, this reading ‘being’ operates ontologically. The experience ignited in reading can then become the ground for an epistemological analysis of the ways in which being gendered also always lies in the disavowal of women’s experiences as sanctioned knowledge. But to get there, there must first be an ontological moment of recognition of oneself as gendered.

As an enunciative position within cultural theory, the self can be used to produce a radical rearticulation of the relationship of critic, experience, text, and the conjunctural moments that we construct as we speak of that within which we live. NOTES 1 Ideological dilemmas are, of course, common. In fact, it is around such commonplace matters as lipstick that they are often forcefully felt and lived. While issues of style may be either considered as trivial or blown up into massive sites of resistance, in mundane ways, they can be used to bring highflung theories of ideology down to ground.

However, we can also see that these uses of the self are not solely contained within the ontological; the point is not to construct an ontology of origins, nor to guarantee ‘authenticity’. Rather, these images of the self are articulated with epistemological projects: Valaskakis’ examination of the political and historical ‘fixing’ of the Indian as ‘other’; Hall’s argument for a marxist account that could specify a ‘recognition of the self within ideological discourse’ (1985:107); Grossberg’s use of the difference between ‘fans and fanatics’ as a way of analysing political and cultural critical practices (1988a:63); and Hebdige’s theorization of ways of effecting change in an articulation of new forms of masculinity (1985:38).

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