Beyond the politics of location: The power of argument in gender equality politics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sometimes, the difficulties of feminist knowledge production have led to the conclusion that all we can aspire to is ‘story-telling’ (Haraway 1989: 8) or ‘political fictions’ (Braidotti 1994: 4). Differences of social location have been taken to mean that we can aspire merely to partial and situated knowledges (Haraway 1988), that is, a series of incommensurable knowledges, of forms of knowledge fundamentally separated from each other, and thus that we should settle for the politics of recognition of existing social groups, rather than the politics of redistribution or of transformation (Young 1990). This intellectual defeatism need not be the conclusion to be drawn from a full appreciation of difference. Rather, the power of argument and of knowledge is available as a more substantial basis for feminist knowledge projects. In this chapter, I am arguing for the significance of argument, of reasoned debate, rather than reducing differences in intellectual and political projects solely to social location.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Discursive Politics of Gender Equality
Subtitle of host publicationStretching, Bending and Policy-Making
EditorsE. Lombardo, P. Meier, M. Verloo
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203881330
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2009

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