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Feminist Theory Today

Feminist Theory Today
An Introduction to Second-Wave Feminism

June 1995 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This stimulating text presents a concise and accessible introduction to feminist theory today. Covering all the major variants of feminist political thought, it offers a unique examination of the archive of modern feminist theory from the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 to current postmodernist and legal feminist texts. It provides both an intellectual history and a political critique of contemporary feminism in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Judith Evans focuses on the divergence within, as well as between, feminist schools, and on protests from women marginalized by `the movement' - including those who are lesbian and those who are black.

Feminist Theory Today contends that the early feminist demand for radical equality has gone, contributing to its drastic undertheorization. While brilliantly reconceptualizing this concept, the author documents the changes in socialist feminism from its revolutionary origins to its current focus on modifying liberal democratic forms.

Equality and Difference in Feminist Thought
Early Liberalism
Feminism's First Equality

Essential Tensions? Liberal Feminism's Second Stage
Radical Equality
The Early Fire

Cultural Feminism
Feminism's First Difference

Woman's Kindness
Cultural Feminism's Second Face

Socialist Feminism
From Androgyny to Gynocentrism, Equality to Difference

The Postmodernist Challenge
The Legal Challenge
Conclusion and Afterthoughts

`Those who are interested in issues of equality, sameness and difference...and who have read the Second Wave literature will appreciate Evans's selective and often thoughtful engagement with that literature' - SIGNS

`In Feminist Theory Today Evans provides an overview of feminist theoretical writings since the 1960s from a perspective which locates these writings in a deate of particular contemporary resonance - the equality/difference axis. The book is characterized by a careful analysis and an engaging, lively style. Full of questions, it is non-didactic and thought-provoking.... A clear framework for overviewing a large and diverse body of literature is produced by placing the texts discussed into distinct schools of thought and evaluating these schools in relation to the concepts of `difference' and `equality'. The claim is that a tension between these concepts runs in various forms through each of the schools outlined - liberal, early radical, strong cultural, weak cultural, socialist and postmodernist. This is as useful a taxonomy as any I have encountered (and drawn slightly more rigorously than most).... The conceptual axis... is a very topical one, the concepts of equality and difference indeed providing the key focus for current debates within feminist theory. Evans' core claim, that there are two types of equality feminism and three types of difference feminism, is clearly highly schematic but nonetheless convincing and helpful for that. The production of this schema is an invaluable achievement which will no doubt aid many to not only access, but alsocritically engage with, what has ecome a huge and amorphous literature. I shall certainly be recommending it to students in future' - Judith Squires, Political Studies

`This review offers only a glimpse of the complexities which Evans addresses in her book. Her writing makes the issues accessible and understandable.... she is addressing particular aspects of the many ways in which feminist theories can be approached and thought about' - Feminism and Psychology

`Provides an extremely thoughtful, perceptive analysis and one which is "honourable" in not avoiding or fudging awkward or difficult points. I found myself in strong agreement with many of its conclusions' - Government and Opposition

The information is rich and very good for those interested in the topic. However, the issues are a little outdated for the module taught. The format is not user friendly for my undergraduate students.

Very informative despite this!

Miss Amber Heaviside
Law, Bolton University
October 3, 2022

While some interesting chapters, the print is blurred on some pages which makes it difficult to follow. I have chosen not to adopt this book at this time as there are better out there.

Mrs Rebecca Rippon
Acute Adult Care, Chester University
August 3, 2022

Did not feel that it was appropriate to the level

Thelma Lackey
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brighton University
June 10, 2015

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