Exclusion and Essentialism in Feminist Theory: The Problem of Mothering

Hypatia 8 (3):1 - 20 (1993)
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Accounts of mothering have both contributed to feminist theory's development and depended on certain of its central concepts. Some of its critics, however, argue that feminist theory is undermined by the problems of exclusion and essentialism. Here I distinguish between these two problems and consider their implications for questions about mothering. I conclude that exclusion and essentialism do not present insurmountable obstacles to theorizing motherhood, but do suggest new directions for such theorizing.



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