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16 Jan 2013
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£58.00
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

This collection aims to think critically about agency and explore the relationship between agency and coercion in greater depth. In academic, activist, and policy circles alike, feminist work has re-focused attention onto women as agents rather than as passive victims of overwhelming structures of male institutional power, or less capable of exercising agency by virtue of their class, race, gender or culture. These broadly positive moves are not without risks. Most notably, they can encourage a triumphalist disregard for constraints through an exclusive emphasis on 'discovering' agency even in the least favourable situations, thereby obscuring domination, inequality, and subordination. So how does bringing agency and coercion into closer interplay impact our understanding of the two? How might the stories of feminist agency change if we locate agency and coercion on the same intellectual frame? What would it mean to disrupt the existing constellation of ideas accompanying agency so as to include coercion, subordination and oppression alongside ideas of freedom, autonomy, and independence? How do we theoretically negotiate agency and coercion in conditions of deep inequality? This collection thinks through these questions in a range of regional, intellectual, ethical and political contexts.


Description

This collection aims to think critically about agency and explore the relationship between agency and coercion in greater depth. In academic, activist, and policy circles alike, feminist work has re-focused attention onto women as agents rather than as passive victims of overwhelming structures of male institutional power, or less capable of exercising agency by virtue of their class, race, gender or culture. These broadly positive moves are not without risks. Most notably, they can encourage a triumphalist disregard for constraints through an exclusive emphasis on 'discovering' agency even in the least favourable situations, thereby obscuring domination, inequality, and subordination. So how does bringing agency and coercion into closer interplay impact our understanding of the two? How might the stories of feminist agency change if we locate agency and coercion on the same intellectual frame? What would it mean to disrupt the existing constellation of ideas accompanying agency so as to include coercion, subordination and oppression alongside ideas of freedom, autonomy, and independence? How do we theoretically negotiate agency and coercion in conditions of deep inequality? This collection thinks through these questions in a range of regional, intellectual, ethical and political contexts.


Contents

Introduction; S.Madhok, A.Phillips & K.Wilson
Choosers or Losers? Feminist Ethical and Political Agency in a Plural and Unequal World; K.Hutchings
The Feminist Subject of Agency: Recognition and Affect in Encounters with 'the Other'; C.Hemmings & A.Kabesh
The Meaning of Agency; M.Evans
The Unbearable Lightness of Theory: Political Ontology and Social Weightlessness in Mouffe's Radical Democracy; L.McNay
Agency as 'Smart Economics': Neoliberalism, Gender and Development; K.Wilson
Action, Agency, Coercion: Reformatting Agency for Oppressive Contexts; S.Madhok
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Missions: Problematising Current Responses; M.Henry
Does the Body Make a Difference?; A.Phillips
Rejecting the Choice Paradigm: Rethinking the Ethical Framework in Prostitution and Egg Sale Debates; H.Widdows
Compensating Egg Donors; E.Jackson
Reproblematising Relations of Agency and Coercion: Surrogacy; S.Ashenden
Representing Agency and Coercion: Feminist Readings and Postfeminist Media Fictions; S.Wearing
As if Postfeminism had come True: the Turn to Agency in Cultural Studies of 'Sexualisation'; R.Gill & N.Donaghue
Afterword; S.Madhok, A.Phillips & K.Wilson



















Authors

SUMI MADHOK is Lecturer in Transnational Gender Studies at the London School of Economics, UK.
ANNE PHILLIPS is Professor of Political and Gender Theory at the London School of Economics, UK. Her previous publications include Multiculturalism without Culture (2007), Which Equalities Matter? (1999), The Politics of Presence (1995), and Engendering Democracy (1991).
KALPANA WILSON is LSE Fellow in Transnational Gender Studies at the London School of Economics, UK.