Essence of Culture and a Sense of History: A Feminist Critique of Cultural Essentialism

Hypatia 13 (2):86 - 106 (1998)

Abstract

Drawing parallels between gender essentialism and cultural essentialism, I point to some common features of essentialist pictures of culture. I argue that cultural essentialism is detrimental to feminist agendas and suggest strategies for its avoidance. Contending that some forms of cultural relativism buy into essentialist notions of culture, I argue that postcolonial feminists need to be cautious about essentialist contrasts between "Western" and "Third World" cultures

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Uma Narayan
Vassar College

Citations of this work

Cultural Appropriation Without Cultural Essentialism?Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):343-366.
The Ethics of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Human Categories Beyond Non-Essentialism.Ron Mallon - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):146–168.

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