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ERIC Number: EJ736180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
The Problem of Agency In Feminism: A Critical Realist Approach
Clegg, Sue
Gender and Education, v18 n3 p309-324 May 2006
In a recent paper, members from the London Feminist Salon Collective reflected on the vexed problem of agency in poststructuralist theory and asked, "as feminist educational researchers, where do we go from here?" The issue remains pressing as agency, both individual and collective, is at the heart of the feminist, and indeed, all radical political projects. The attractions of poststructuralist theorizing for many feminists has been its decisive break with logocentrism. However, from the 1980s onwards, feminists were pointing to the problems poststructuralism presented in theorizing the nature of agency. In this paper I will argue that we should adopt a different theoretical starting point. Drawing heavily on the work of Margaret Archer, I will argue that critical realism has much to offer theories of political action. While acknowledging the enormous contribution of feminist scholars working within a poststructuralist paradigm, I will argue that the epistemological and ontological assumptions at the heart of poststructuralist theory render it incapable of providing a framework for what Archer calls the enchantment of being human. This enchantment, and the rich resources of a conceptualization of agency based on the primacy of practice, provides a stronger basis for theorizing feminist research, practice and being. (Contains 6 notes and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A