Weaving relational webs: Theorizing cultural difference and embodied practice

Feminist Theory 9 (1):87-107 (2008)

Abstract

Through illustrating the similarities between embodied practices rooted in different cultural contexts, feminist theorists seek to reveal the instability of essentialist binaries which distinguish various groups as culturally, ethnically and morally `different'. They also aim to query how the term `culture' is employed differentially on the basis of embodied axes such as race and nation. However, in emphasizing overarching commonalities between practices, feminist cross-cultural comparisons risk collapsing into economies of sameness that elide the complex relations of power through which such practices have been constituted. They can also fix the imagined subjects of these practices in troubling ways. Using the ubiquitous `African' female genital cutting and `Western' cosmetic surgery binary as an example, this article explores the difference it might make to address culturally essentialist constructions of embodied practice with a focus on relationality rather than commonality. As a means to reorient feminist cross-cultural approaches which depend on assertions of similarity or sameness, it argues for the theoretical and pedagogical utility of thinking through relational webs.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-25

Downloads
4 (#1,286,940)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Thinking Through Breasts: Writing Maternity.Alison Bartlett - 2000 - Feminist Theory 1 (2):173-188.
Arachne’s Voice: Race, Gender and the Goddess.Kavita Maya - 2019 - Feminist Theology 28 (1):52-65.
The Embodied Self Reformulating the Existential Difference in Kierkegaard.Arne Gron - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (10-11):10-11.
Culture and Reason.Xunwu Chen - 1994 - Dissertation, Fordham University