This latest work from one of the world's leading political philosophers will appeal to audiences from a variety of fields, including philosophy, political science, women's studies, ethnic studies, sociology, and communications studies.
In her long-awaited Responsibility for Justice, Young discusses our responsibilities to address "structural" injustices in which we among many are implicated, often by virtue of participating in a market, such as buying goods produced in sweatshops, or participating in booming housing markets that leave many homeless.
The essay theorizes the responsibilities moral agents may be said to have in relation to global structural social processes that have unjust consequences. How ought moral agents, whether individual or institutional, conceptualize their responsibilities in relation to global injustice? I propose a model of responsibility from social connection as an interpretation of obligations of justice arising from structural social processes. I use the example of justice in transnational processes of production, distribution and marketing of clothing to illustrate operations of structural (...) social processes that extend widely across regions of the world. The social connection model of responsibility says that all agents who contribute by their actions to the structural processes that produce injustice have responsibilities to work to remedy these injustices. I distinguish this model from a more standard model of responsibility, which I call a liability model. I specify five features of the social connection model of responsibility that distinguish it from the liability model: it does not isolate perpetrators; it judges background conditions of action; it is more forward looking than backward looking; its responsibility is essentially shared; and it can be discharged only through collective action. The final section of the essay begins to articulate parameters of reasoning that agents can use for thinking about their own action in relation to structural injustice. a Footnotesa Thanks to David Alexander, Daniel Drezner, David Owen, and Ellen Frankel Paul for comments on an earlier version of this essay. Thanks to David Newstone for research assistance. (shrink)
Feminist social theory and female body experience are the twin themes of Iris Marion Young's twelve outstanding essays written over the past decade and brought together here. Her contributions to social theory raise critical questions about women and citizenship, the relations of capitalism and women's oppression, and the differences between a feminist theory that emphasizes women's difference and one that assumes a gender-neutral humanity. Loosely following a phenomenological method of description, Young's essays on female embodiment discuss female movement, pregnancy, clothing, (...) and the breasted body. In an introduction that situates her work in the context of shifts in feminist theory and politics over the past decade, Young emphasizes the rootedness of her theorizing in a dedicated and seasoned political activism. (shrink)
Written over a span of more than two decades, the essays by Iris Marion Young collected in this volume describe diverse aspects of women's lived body experience in modern Western societies. Drawing on the ideas of several twentieth century continental philosophers--including Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty--Young constructs rigorous analytic categories for interpreting embodied subjectivity. The essays combine theoretical description of experience with normative evaluation of the unjust constraints on their freedom and opportunity that (...) continue to burden many women. The lead essay rethinks the purpose of the category of "gender" for feminist theory, after important debates have questioned its usefulness. Other essays include reflection on the meaning of being at home and the need for privacy in old age residences as well as essays that analyze aspects of the experience of women and girls that have received little attention even in feminist theory--such as the sexuality of breasts, or menstruation as punctuation in a woman's life story. Young describes the phenomenology of moving in a pregnant body and the tactile pleasures of clothing. While academically rigorous, the essays are also written with engaging style, incorporating vivid imagery and autobiographical narrative. On Female Body Experience raises issues and takes positions that speak to scholars and students in philosophy, sociology, geography, medicine, nursing, and education. (shrink)
The pregnant subject has a unique experience of her body. The dichotomy between self and other, self and world, breaks down. She can experience a positive narcissism and sense of process. Some conceptualizations and practices of contemporary medicine, however, can alienate the pregnant subject from this bodily experience. Keywords: Embodiment, Split Subjectivity CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
THE PAPER DEFINES AND DEFENDS A PRINCIPLE OF COLLECTIVE SELF-DETERMINATION AS ONE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ORDERING OF A JUST SOCIETY. THAT PRINCIPLE SPECIFIES THAT INDIVIDUALS PARTICIPATE EQUALLY IN THE MAKING OF DECISIONS WHICH WILL GOVERN THEIR ACTIONS WITHIN INSTITUTIONS OF SPECIAL COOPERATION. THE PAPER ADOPTS THE STRATEGY OF ARGUING TO PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE BY ASKING WHAT PRINCIPLES WOULD BE CHOSEN IN RAWLS' ORIGINAL POSITION. IT ARGUES THAT, CONTRARY TO THE THRUST IMPLICIT IN RAWLS AND OTHER LIBERAL THINKERS, PERSONS (...) IN THE ORIGINAL POSITION WOULD HAVE NO BASIS FOR DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN POLITICAL AND NON-POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS OF SOCIAL COOPERATION, AND THUS WOULD CHOOSE THE PRINCIPLE OF SELF-DETERMINATION DIRECTLY AS APPLYING TO ALL INSTITUTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF SOCIAL COOPERATION. (shrink)
"... some very serious critiques of French existential phenomenology and post-structuralism... the contributors offer some refreshingly new insights into some tried and 'true' philosophical texts and more recent works of literary theory." -- Philosophy and Literature "By bridging the gap between 'analytic' and 'continental' philosophy, the authors of The Thinking Muse: Feminism and the Modern French Philosophy largely overcome the cultural polarity between 'male thinker' and 'female muse'." -- Ethics "These engaging essays by American Feminists bring toether feminist philosophy, existential (...) phenomenology, and recent currents in French poststructuralist thought. The editors provide an excellent introductory overview, making this an ideal book for courses in feminist theory and philosophy and modern French thought." -- Philosopher's Index "The concerns raised in this volume are substantial.... a solid addition to the canon of American feminist philosophy." -- Philosophy and Literature "... a forum for feminist appropriations of existential and post-structuralist philosophy." -- Canadian Philosophical Reviews Marking a radical shift in the traditional philosophical separation between muse (female) and thinker (male), The Thinking Muse revises the scope and methods of philosophical reflection. These engaging essays by American feminists bring together feminist philosophy, existential phenomenology, and recent currents in French poststructuralist thought. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Hypatia 16.2 (2001) 91-93 [Access article in PDF] Book Review Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice. By Patricia Hill Collins. University of Minnesota, 1998. Patricia Hill Collins's earlier book, Black Feminist Thought (1990), developed a sophisticated and persuasive version of feminist standpoint theory that conceptualized the specific positioning of Black women and derived some epistemological consequences of (...) that positioning.Fighting Words (1998), a collection of seven thematically connected essays, continues this project of the social theory of group positioning and its epistemological consequences. The book has many suggestive ideas and well-thought-through social theoretical analyses; in some respects, however, it overgeneralizes or leaves its points underdeveloped.The first and third parts of the book ask whether a feminist standpoint theory can be viable after critiques of essentialism and identity politics. They also ask whether and how the positioning of Black women has shifted in the last few decades. The second part is somewhat disjoined from these discussions; it consists of three chapters, each of which considers a literature on which Black feminist thought might draw: American sociology, postmodernism, and Afrocentrism. I find the first and third parts of the book the most interesting and original, and so will devote most of my comments to them. First I will briefly review the second part.In each of these middle chapters Collins surveys a body of literature and finds that each in its own specific way falls seriously short of offering the theoretical frameworks Black feminist thought needs. The sociology chapter contains a useful, if hasty, history of postwar American sociology from the point of view of Black women, both as subjects of study and practitioners. It is largely a catalogue of writers and ideas, noting shifts in thinking about race and gender; it will be of most interest to those who work in the discipline of sociology.The chapter on postmodernism is overly general, making claims about a large category of contemporary theory supported with reference to only a few writers. The chapter on Afrocentrism also catalogs a large body of writings and argues that the ideas serve certain aspects of the emancipatory interest of Black women. To the extent that Afrocentrism relies on a strong and rather static notion of Black culture nationalism, however, Collins argues, it tends to have male-biased implications. The three chapters taken together exhibit [End Page 91] the project of applying standards of critical epistemology to forms of social knowledge claims.I find Collins's own efforts at positive theory in this book more productive than her epistemological reflection. Two aspects of this positive theorizing are particularly noteworthy: (1) an argument that recent social changes have resulted in a shifting position for African American women and their public presence, and (2) an argument that Black feminist thought can and should retain a theory of social group positioning even in the face of recent critiques of essentializing group identities.In her first chapter Collins argues that the years since the Civil Rights movement have seen a significant shift in what it means for Black women to be public, which accompanies what she calls a new politics of containment. In the post Civil Rights era, racism takes more subtle forms than before, building on past unequal social structures of racialized division of labor and spatial segregation, which are reintegrated into a new rhetoric of family values and personal responsibility. Past racist and sexist structures tended to keep Black women out of a public eye at the same time that a vibrant African American civil society heavily relied on women's leadership skills and willingness to give their time. In recent decades the strength of this African American civil society has waned, and with it Black women's participation in a Black public sphere. At the same time, mainstream America has brought Black women under a new surveillance, where contradictory standards bring them under risk of judgment and condemnation. Black women are more public than ever, in this sense, but they have little control over whether... (shrink)
Toril Moi has argued that recent deconstructive challenges to the concept of gender and to the viability of the sex/gender distinction have brought feminist and queer theory to a place of increasing theoretical abstraction. She suggests that we should abandon the category of gender once and for all, because it is founded on a nature–culture distinction and it tends incorrigibly to essentialize women’s lives. Moi argues that feminist and queer theories should replace the concept of gender with a concept of (...) the lived body derived from existential phenomenology. In this essay I take up and develop this suggestion, and argue that there are several advantages that a category of the lived body has over a category of gender for feminist and queer theories: (1) no nature–culture distinction is necessary but the body can be described as historically and socially specific; (2) it is not necessary to break out a gendered and “raced” part of identity with this category; (3) differences of sexual desire can be described without recourse to an “inner core” of identity or “sexual orientation.” I go on to argue, however, that it is important to retain a concept of gender for a theoretical purpose beyond that which Moi and those she criticizes conceive. In recent years feminist and queer theories have tended to conceive their theorizing as restricted to identity and subjectivity. How large scale social structures differentially position people in relations of privilege and disadvantage has been ignored, relatively. This essay argues then that theorizing structural processes and inequalities is crucial, and that a concept of gender is important for such theorizing. I propose three aspects of gendered social structure that are irreducible to one another: (1) a sexual division of labor (2) normative heterosexuality, and (3) hierarchies of power. In each case I illustrate the social theoretical work these categorizations of gendered structure can and should do. (shrink)
What an honor to have political and educational theorists of such caliber take up ideas from my work! What a daunting task to try to respond! My remarks will touch on the following questions: What are some key issues of distributive justice in education today? Why does defining justice in terms of oppression and domination imply that issues of justice cannot be reduced to distribution? How does normalization constitute a major process enacting oppression, and what does this imply for education? (...) What does it mean to include marginalized groups in economic opportunity and democratic process, and how can educational institutions foster such inclusion? Why do issues of religion and other forms of cultural expression belong to a distinct category of justice? Are values of freedom of expression and tolerance in tension with the project of democratic inclusion? How shall we consider transnational issues of educational justice? (shrink)
In this essay I follow one argument strand from Linda Singer's Erotic Welfare. How can we have a forward-looking and affirmative ideal of sexual freedom when the AIDS panic has altered the sexual landscape and instigated new justifications for oppressive sexual disciplines? How can we be sexual subjects when processes of commodification and disciplinary practices have constrained sexual expression while proliferating sexual fetishes? These are some of the questions this book formulates, without answering.
: The essay theorizes the logic of masculinist protection as an apparently benign form of male domination. It then argues that authoritarian government is often justified through a logic of masculinist protection, and that this is the form of justification for the security regime that has emerged in the United States since September 11, 2001. I argue that those who live under a security regime live within an oppressive protection racket. The paper ends by cautioning feminists not ourselves to adopt (...) a stance of protector toward women in so-called less developed societies. (shrink)