ERIC Number: ED395355
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct-7
Reference Count: N/A
An Initial Exploration of the Potential Contributions of French Feminist Theory to Interpersonal Communication.
More than a decade after the provocative writings of French feminist writers Julie Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous, and Monique Wittig first appeared, the exploration of sexual and gender differences continues to draw controversy. Their work has been considered mostly in regard to literature, philosophy, and feminist theory, but their theories could make valuable contributions to American interpersonal communication scholarship. They are intrigued by basic questions that are also at the heart of communication research--identity, especially as associated with notions of sex and gender, and how these notions are socially constructed in discourse. French feminist theories could contribute to three areas of interpersonal communication: (1) by using the body as a starting point, interpersonal communication scholars could construct a theoretical rationale to look at key concepts in a way that is not equated with biologism; (2) interpersonal communication scholars could follow the French feminist approach to examining how gender is constructed in language and discourse; and (3) French feminist theories could help interpersonal communication scholars in their current efforts to redefine concepts of sex, gender, identity, and self. The French feminists maintain that it is not biology but the representation of biology that oppresses women. However, they have distinct notions about gender and sexual identity. By borrowing some of these notions, research in interpersonal communication could be designed that allows a more complex view of gender and sexual difference and that could accommodate a greater variety of discourses. (Contains 20 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discourse; Feminist Criticism; France; Identity Formation; Theoretical Orientation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (St. Paul, MN, October 7-8, 1995).