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The Promise of Happiness

Duke University Press (2010)

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  1. Re-Imagining Affect with Study: Implications From a Daoist Wind-Story and Yin–Yang Movement.Weili Zhao & Derek R. Ford - 2017 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 37 (2):109-121.
    Within educational philosophy and theory there has recently been a re-turn to the concept and practices of studying as an alternative or oppositional educational logic to push back against learning as the predominant mode of educational engagement. While promising, we believe that this research on studying has been limited in a few ways. First, while the ontological aspects of studying have been examined in a thorough manner, the affective dimension of studying has not yet been investigated. Second, while a diverse (...)
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  • Happiness and Social Justice Education: Ethical, Political and Pedagogic Lessons.Michalinos Zembylas - 2020 - Ethics and Education 15 (1):18-32.
    ABSTRACTThis paper aims: to draw attention to relational and political understandings of happiness in education discourses and their implications for remedying racial and social inequalities and suffering, and to illustrate how unhappiness and suffering might offer valuable ethical, political and pedagogic lessons on the limits of the promise of happiness in social justice education. The analysis draws on Sara Ahmed’s work to theorise multiculturalism and racial equality as ‘happy objects’, namely, as objects towards which good feelings are directed and bad (...)
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  • “Fake Happiness”: Counseling, Potentiality, and Psycho-Politics in China.Jie Yang - 2013 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 41 (3):292-312.
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  • Sara Ahmed: Willful Subjects: Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2014, 320 Pp, $89.95 HB, ISBN 978-0-8223-5767-4, $24.95 PB, ISBN 978-0-8223-5783-4.Lizzy Willmington - 2015 - Feminist Legal Studies 23 (2):235-239.
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  • Loneliness is a Feminist Issue.Eleanor Wilkinson - 2022 - Feminist Theory 23 (1):23-38.
    Loneliness is often described as a deadly epidemic sweeping across the population, a silent killer. Loneliness, we are told, is a social disease that must be cured. But what does it mean to think of loneliness as a feminist issue, and what might a specifically feminist theorisation bring to conceptualisations of loneliness? In this paper, I argue that feminism helps us see that loneliness is not just personal but political. I trace how stories of loneliness surface, circulate, shift and compound (...)
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  • The Times We’Re In: Queer Feminist Criticism and the Reparative ‘Turn’.Robyn Wiegman - 2014 - Feminist Theory 15 (1):4-25.
    This article examines the reparative turn in current queer feminist scholarship by tracking its twin interest in the study of affect and time. By foregrounding Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s influential critique of what she called paranoid reading, I am interested in the ways that various critics – Ann Cvetkovich, Heather Love, and Elizabeth Freeman in particular – take up the call for reparative reading by using the temporal frameworks of the everyday, backward feeling, and queer time to reparative ends. In the (...)
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  • Affecting Feminism: Questions of Feeling in Feminist Theory.Anne Whitehead & Carolyn Pedwell - 2012 - Feminist Theory 13 (2):115-129.
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  • Quelling Anxiety as Intimate Work: Maternal Responsibility to Alleviate Bad Feelings Emerging From Precarity.Amanda Watson - 2016 - Studies in Social Justice 10 (2):261-283.
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  • Taking Situatedness Seriously. Embedding Affective Intentionality in Forms of Living.Imke von Maur - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Situated approaches to affectivity overcome an outdated individualistic perspective on emotions by emphasizing the role embodiment and environment play in affective dynamics. Yet, accounts which provide the conceptual toolbox for analyses in the philosophy of emotions do not go far enough. Their focus falls on the present situation, abstracting from the broader historico-cultural context, and on adopting a largely functionalist approach by conceiving of emotions and the environment as resources to be regulated or scaffolds to be used. In this paper, (...)
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  • Unravelling Compulsory Happiness in Exile: Cristina Peri Rossi’s The Ship of Fools.Natasha Tanna - 2019 - Feminist Theory 20 (1):55-72.
    A number of feminist critics of Latin American women writers in exile have suggested that women in exile may flourish as they are freed from the traditional gender restrictions imposed on them in their home countries. In this article I reexamine the association of exile with liberation through analysing Cristina Peri Rossi’s 1984 novel La nave de los locos in the light of the tension between Rosi Braidotti’s Deleuzian affirmation of feminism as a ‘joyful nomadic force’ and Sara Ahmed’s critique (...)
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  • Rainbow Coloured Dots and Rebellious Old Ladies: The Gurlesque in Two Contemporary Swedish Comic Books.Maria Margareta Österholm - 2018 - European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (3):371-383.
    The term gurlesque refers to an aesthetics that mixes feminism, femininity, the grotesque and the cute. This article explores how contemporary Swedish feminist comic books do gurlesque theory with the aim of contributing to the theoretical conversation about feminine aesthetics and gurlesque. The study focuses on two contemporary Swedish comic books, Jag är din flickvän nu by Nina Hemmingsson and Allt kommer bli bra by Lisa Ewald. The article views gurlesque as a queer aesthetics, as a form of wilful misinterpretation (...)
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  • Happy Children: A Modern Emotional Commitment.Peter N. Stearns - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Book Review: Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women’s Liberation Movement, 1968–Present by Margaretta Jolly. [REVIEW]Emma Spruce - 2020 - Feminist Review 126 (1):212-213.
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  • Feminist/Queer/Diasporic Temporality in Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other.Carolina Sánchez-Palencia - 2022 - European Journal of Women's Studies 29 (2):316-330.
    Claiming that individuals and communities get their choices, rhythms and practices biopolitically choreographed by temporal mechanisms that dictate which human experiences are included or excluded, Elizabeth Freeman states that those ‘whose activities do not show up on the official time line, whose own time lines do not synchronize with it, are variously and often simultaneously black, female, queer’. The narrative subject of Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other is black, female and queer in her design of a polyphonic text featuring twelve (...)
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  • “Can You Deny Her That?” Processes of Governmentality and Socialization of Parents in Elite Women’s Gymnastics.Froukje Smits, Frank Jacobs & Annelies Knoppers - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Abusive practices in elite women’s artistic gymnastics have been the focus of discussions about how to eliminate or reduce them. Both coaches and parents have been named as key actors in bringing about change. Our focus is on parents and their ability to safeguard their daughters in WAG. Parents are not independent actors, however, but are part of a larger web consisting of an entanglement of emotions and technologies and rationalities used by staff, other parents, and athletes, bounded by skill (...)
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  • Mind Invasion: Situated Affectivity and the Corporate Life Hack.Jan Slaby - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    In view of the philosophical problems that vex the debate on situated affectivity, it can seem wise to focus on simple cases. Accordingly, theorists often single out scenarios in which an individual employs a device in order to enhance their emotional experience, or to achieve new kinds of experience altogether, such as playing an instrument, going to the movies or sporting a fancy handbag. I argue that this narrow focus on cases that fit a ‘user/resource model’ tends to channel attention (...)
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  • Singlehood in Treatment: Interrogating the Discursive Alliance Between Postfeminism and Therapeutic Culture.Avi Shoshana & Kinneret Lahad - 2015 - European Journal of Women's Studies 22 (3):334-349.
    This article offers a critical discourse analysis of the Israeli television series In Treatment. The series unfolds the therapy sessions of a 40-year-old single female attorney with her therapist. The main objective of the study was to identify the scripted tactics or narrative strategies that establish and maintain singlehood. The findings indicate that the therapeutic discourse plays a central role in the construction and interpretation of single women’s subjectivities, prompting a narrative that encourages the ‘discarding’ of singlehood as well as (...)
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  • Living On; Not Getting Better.Margrit Shildrick - 2015 - Feminist Review 111 (1):10-24.
    The contemporary emergence of the concept ‘debility’, which pertains to a broad swathe of humanity whose ordinary lives simply persist without ever getting better, shares a time span with an acute critique of neo-liberal biopolitics. Where capital has historically relied on a population that through its labour necessarily becomes debilitated, the newer model of understanding references the intrinsic profitability of debility itself. The two dimensions overlap and co-exist, but what I shall pursue here are the implications of recognising that, at (...)
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  • Intimate Lives in the Global Bioeconomy: Reproductive Biographies of Mexican Egg Donors.Carolin Schurr & Laura Perler - 2021 - Body and Society 27 (3):3-27.
    Research on cross-border reproductive care has shown how the geographical, historical, economic and political contexts in which egg donation takes place shape this transnational practice. As many women offer their oocytes due to their precarious conditions, they become seen as ‘bioavailable bodies’. The presence of these bioavailable bodies is key to the emergence of global egg donation hotspots. We argue that feminist research needs to go beyond the conceptualization of egg donors as bioavailable bodies. We suggest the analysis of ‘reproductive (...)
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  • Upheaval and Reinvention in Celebrity Interviews: Emotional Reflexivity and the Therapeutic Self in Late Modernity.Anne-Maree Sawyer & Sara James - 2022 - Thesis Eleven 169 (1):26-44.
    The disruptions of life in late modernity render self-identity fragile. Consequently, individuals must reflexively manage their emotions and periodically reinvent themselves to maintain a coherent narrative of the self. The rise of psychology as a discursive regime across the 20th century, and its intersections with a plethora of wellness industries, has furnished a new language of selfhood and greater public attention to emotions and personal narratives of suffering. Celebrities, who engage in public identity work to ensure their continued relatability, increasingly (...)
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  • Shared Cognitive–Emotional–Interactional Platforms: Markers and Conditions for Successful Interdisciplinary Collaborations.Kyoko Sato, Michèle Lamont & Veronica Boix Mansilla - 2016 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 41 (4):571-612.
    Given the growing centrality of interdisciplinarity to scientific research, gaining a better understanding of successful interdisciplinary collaborations has become imperative. Drawing on extensive case studies of nine research networks in the social, natural, and computational sciences, we propose a construct that captures the multidimensional character of such collaborations, that of a shared cognitive–emotional–interactional platform. We demonstrate its value as an integrative lens to examine markers of and conditions for successful interdisciplinary collaborations as defined by researchers involved in these groups. We (...)
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  • Postfeminism, Popular Feminism and Neoliberal Feminism? Sarah Banet-Weiser, Rosalind Gill and Catherine Rottenberg in Conversation.Catherine Rottenberg, Rosalind Gill & Sarah Banet-Weiser - 2020 - Feminist Theory 21 (1):3-24.
    In this unconventional article, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Rosalind Gill and Catherine Rottenberg conduct a three-way ‘conversation’ in which they all take turns outlining how they understand the relationship among postfeminism, popular feminism and neoliberal feminism. It begins with a short introduction, and then Ros, Sarah and Catherine each define the term they have become associated with. This is followed by another round in which they discuss the overlaps, similarities and disjunctures among the terms, and the article ends with how each one (...)
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  • Book Review: Living a Feminist Life. [REVIEW]Leena-Maija Rossi - 2018 - European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (1):116-118.
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  • Introduction to Special Issue.Lucile Quéré & Éléonore Lépinard - 2021 - European Journal of Women's Studies 28 (3):299-304.
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  • Capitalismo e inmunidad.Laura Quintana - 2021 - Isegoría 65:04-04.
    In his best-seller The Burnout Society, Byung-Chul Han maintained that the immunological dispositive is not compatible with global capitalism. In this article, I argue, against Han, that the capitalism we inhabit produces countless immunological devices, and not just in times of pandemic. In particular, I emphasize the affective dimension of these mechanisms, the configuration of desire they generate. When carrying out this reflection, I highlight the complexity of immunity: since it can be considered a defense system that activates forms of (...)
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  • The Modern Courtesan: Gender, Religion and Dance in Transnational India.Rumya S. Putcha - 2020 - Feminist Review 126 (1):54-73.
    This article exposes the role of expressive culture in the rise and spread of late twentieth-century Hindu identity politics. I examine how Hindu nationalism is fuelled by an affective attachment to the Indian classical dancer. I analyse the affective logics that have crystallised around the now iconic Indian classical dancer and have situated her gendered and athletic body as a transnational, globally circulating emblem of an authentic Hindu and Indian national identity. This embodied identity is represented by the historical South (...)
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  • Preventing Mental Disorder and Promoting Mental Health: Some Implications for Understanding Wellbeing.David Pilgrim - 2021 - Journal of Critical Realism 20 (5):557-573.
    In this paper, I consider the debates surrounding the prevention of mental disorder and the promotion of mental health. In so doing, I offer some provisional insights into the wider notion of wellb...
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  • Can We Be Happier? Evidence and Ethics: By Richard Layard, London, Pelican, 2020, 397 Pp., £22 (Hardback), ISBN 978-0-241-42999.David Pilgrim - 2020 - Journal of Critical Realism 19 (3):304-307.
    Volume 19, Issue 3, June 2020, Page 304-307.
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  • Feminist Loneliness Studies: An Introduction.Celeste E. Orr & Shoshana Magnet - 2022 - Feminist Theory 23 (1):3-22.
    Writing about loneliness has been a struggle in the midst of the pandemic. Characterized by loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and fear, the COVID-19 pandemic is an exceptionally challenging time. At various points while navigating this loneliness project amid a particularly lonely time, we lamented the seeming futility of it all. A main goal of developing a Feminist Loneliness Studies in this introduction is to understand the ways that systems of oppression – white supremacy, settler colonialism, anti-queer bias, misogyny, neoliberal capitalism, and (...)
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  • Another Relationship to Failure: Reflections on Beckett and Education.Aislinn O'Donnell - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 48 (2):260-275.
    Failure is seen as a problem in education. From failing schools, to failing students to rankings of universities, literacy or numeracy, the perception that one has failed to compete or to compare favourably with others has led to a series of policy initiatives internationally designed to ensure ‘success for all’. But when success is measured in comparison with others or against benchmarks or standards, then it is impossible to see how all could be successful given the parameters laid down. What (...)
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  • ‘Pervaded by a Chill’:1 The Dialectic of Coldness in Adorno’s Social Theory.Simon Mussell - 2013 - Thesis Eleven 117 (1):55-67.
    This article examines some of the ways in which the trope of coldness appears in the social theory of Theodor W. Adorno. In the first section, I show how and why Adorno repeatedly criticizes a certain brand of coldness, namely, ‘bourgeois coldness’, which is understood as enacting and encouraging formal abstraction and indifference to sensuous particularity. In this sense, coldness is seen to function as a precondition for severe forms of violence (both symbolic and material). However, in the second section, (...)
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  • La humillación como una forma socialmente tolerada del mal moral.Liliana Molina - 2018 - Co-herencia 15 (29):37-64.
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  • Haunted by Her: Lesbian Feminist Ghostly Drags on Representation and Reception.Allyson Mitchell - 2019 - Feminist Theory 20 (4):431-443.
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  • Clothes Make the Man: Butch Fashion in Digital Visual Cultures.Naveen Minai - 2022 - Feminist Theory 23 (3):370-385.
    There are few sartorial ensembles as heavily signified as masculine as a suit. This article focuses on the suit within queer fashion digital cultures and spaces to explore how butch of colour digital fashion suits up to offer us different ways to think about masculinity. Intervening in the erasure of women of colour in histories of fashion – including menswear – and histories of sexuality – butch, dapper, tomboy, dandy – I argue that butch digital fashion works as a site (...)
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  • Agential Multiplicity in the Assisted Beginnings of Life.Mianna Meskus - 2015 - European Journal of Women's Studies 22 (1):70-83.
    This article explores the idea of agential multiplicity in medical treatment of childlessness. The analysis illustrates the kinds of agencies that emerge in the use of assisted reproductive technologies. The article begins with a discussion on feelings as participants in IVF treatment and as elements of women’s embodied experience. This is followed by an analysis of three consecutive steps of IVF: ovulation induction, assisted fertilization in the laboratory and embryo transfer. The article aims to show that feminist theory and praxis (...)
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  • Maladjustment.Michaela McSweeney - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    Martin Luther King Jr. claimed that “the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the maladjusted”. I elaborate on King’s claim by focusing on the way in which we treat and understand ‘maladjustment’ that is responsive to severe trauma (e.g. PTSD that is a result of military combat or rape). Mental healthcare and our social attitudes about mental illness and disorder will prevent us from recognizing real injustice that symptoms of mental illness can be appropriately responding to, unless (...)
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  • Relational Happiness Through Recognition and Redistribution: Emotion and Inequality.Jordan McKenzie & Mary Holmes - 2019 - European Journal of Social Theory 22 (4):439-457.
    This article develops a model of relational happiness that challenges popular individualized definitions and emphasizes how it can enhance the sociological analysis of inequality. Many studies of happiness suggest that social inequalities are closely associated with distributions of happiness at the national level, but happiness research continues to favour individual-level analyses. Limited attention has been given to the intersubjective aspects of happiness and the correlations between it and higher social equality. Conversely, key theoretical debates about inequalities, such as Axel Honneth (...)
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  • Happiness Vs Contentment? A Case for a Sociology of the Good Life.Jordan McKenzie - 2016 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 46 (3):252-267.
    Despite the enormous growth in happiness research in recent decades, there remains a lack of consistency in the use of the terms happiness, satisfaction, contentment and well-being. In this article I argue for a sociologically grounded distinction between happiness and contentment that defines the former as positive affect and the latter as positive reflection. Contentment is therefore understood as a fulfilling relationship with the self and society and happiness involves pleasurable experiences. There is a history of similar distinctions in philosophy (...)
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  • Queer temporalities. [REVIEW]Sam McBean - 2013 - Feminist Theory 14 (1):123-128.
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  • The Possibilities and Limits of Queer Strategies of Denaturalizing and Resignifying Gendered Symbolics.Wendy Mallette - 2018 - Feminist Theology 26 (3):267-285.
    In this article, I take up Marcella Althaus-Reid’s queer strategy that pairs disaffiliation with intimate identification in order to draw out the possibilities and limits of queer strategies of resignification and denaturalization. I will use David M. Halperin’s work on gay femininity, abjection, and camp as the primary site to investigate these queer strategies. This article’s considerations have implications for recent directions taken in contemporary queer theology by challenging projects that presume a certain limitless capacity for queering or that seek (...)
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  • Moving Evidence: Patients’ Groups, Biomedical Research, and Affects.Lisa Lindén - 2021 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 46 (4):815-838.
    Research in science and technology studies has analyzed how patients’ groups engage in practices that connect biomedicine and patient experience in order to become involved in the shaping of biomedical research. However, there has been limited attention to the affective dimensions of such practices. Based on ethnographic fieldwork with a gynecological cancer patients’ group in Sweden, this article focuses on practices that aim to influence researchers and research institutions to prioritize biomedical gynecological cancer research. It analyzes how “affects” are woven (...)
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  • When Unhappiness is Not the Endpoint, Fostering Justice Through Education.Elin Rodahl Lie - 2022 - Ethics and Education 17 (2):183-196.
    ABSTRACT With a specific example from Norway and inspiration from Sara Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness, this article demonstrates how today’s educational rhetoric lacks the language and will to recognise a key pedagogical dimension in education: what happens when the normative ambitions of education and students meet. At best, teaching students life skills to mitigate their mental health issues is naive. Inspired by Ahmed, such an initiative might actually work against its purpose. At a time when educational outcomes are emphasised (...)
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  • Editor's Introduction–Emancipation: Rethinking Subjectivity, Power, and Change.Susanne Lettow - 2015 - Hypatia 30 (3):501-512.
  • Rebelling Against Suffering in Capitalism.Claudia Leeb - 2018 - Contemporary Political Theory 17 (3):263-282.
    In this article, I bring Marx and Adorno into conversation with affect theory to establish three points: First, an affective reading of the concepts of alienation and exploitation via Marx’s metaphor of the “vampire capital” explains how capitalism depletes raced, gendered, and sexed working class of their bodily and mental powers. Second, discussing these thinkers’ ideas in the context of the larger mind and body opposition revives attention to the body in contemporary political theory and exposes how the mind and (...)
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  • Senthorun Sunil Raj: Feeling Queer Jurisprudence: Injury, Intimacy, Identity.Kay Lalor - 2021 - Feminist Legal Studies 29 (2):277-281.
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  • Senthorun Sunil Raj: Feeling Queer Jurisprudence: Injury, Intimacy, Identity: Routledge, London, 2020. [REVIEW]Kay Lalor - 2020 - Feminist Legal Studies 29 (2):277-281.
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  • Making Different Differences: Representation and Rights in Sexuality Activism.Kay Lalor - 2015 - Feminist Legal Studies 23 (1):7-25.
    This paper argues that current iterations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights are limited by an overreliance on particular representations of sexuality, in which homosexuality is defined negatively through a binary of homosexual/heterosexual. The limits of these representations are explored in order to unpick the possibility of engaging in a form of sexuality politics that is grounded in difference rather than in sameness or opposition. The paper seeks to respond to Braidotti’s call for an “affirmative politics” that is (...)
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  • Affective Dissonance, Neoliberal Postfeminism and the Foreclosure of Solidarity.Judith Lakämper - 2017 - Feminist Theory 18 (2):119-135.
    With the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, popular media debates about gender equality gained additional fuel. However, the popularisation of feminist discourses in digital media has not brought substantial political change. In this article, I demonstrate how famous working mothers like Sandberg and Tina Fey provide accounts of their difficulties with identifying as ‘women who have it all’, although they are often perceived in such terms. I propose the framework of affective (...)
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  • ‘I Don’T Think This Woman Had Anyone in Her Life’: Loneliness and Singlehood in Six Feet Under.Kinneret Lahad & Neta Yodovich - 2018 - European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (4):440-454.
    This article offers a critical analysis of representations of loneliness and singlehood, embodied in the narrative of the ‘old maid’s’ lonely death. The study contributes to a complex understanding of single women and the resignification of emotions conventionally ascribed to this category. By bridging the gap between two rarely linked bodies of knowledge – singlehood and the sociology of emotions – the authors do not ask what loneliness is, but, following Sara Ahmed’s work, rather what loneliness does. To this end, (...)
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  • ‘You Need to Learn to See Yourself Through the Fathers’ Eyes’: Feminism, Representation, and the Dystopian Space of Bitch Planet.Ellen Kirkpatrick - 2017 - Feminist Review 116 (1):134-142.
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