Sunday, 6 January 2013



Feminist Perspectives  

Feminist critic Teresa de lauretis argues that it is still possible to talk about the ‘essence of woman’, or necessary attributes (e.g. the experience of femaleness, of living in the world as female) that women have developed or have been bound to historically in their differently patriarchal sociocultural contexts which make them women not men. Investigations of women’s or feminists ‘ways of seeing’ or of the female gaze can be easily labelled essentialist. We must remember, however, that definitions of terms such as essentialism in different cultural contexts do not always coincide precisely.

Teresa de lauretis asserts that a modifies essentialism is the very basis on which feminist thinking differs from non-feminist thinking, enabling all different branches of feminist though to be termed ‘feminist’.  The merging of what previously was opposite positions is central to the discussion of cultural representation in the book IMAGINING WOMEN.  Social constructivism needs to recognize the essential which informs it (Diane Fuss, 1989).

The Value Of Work
Women’s work in different media is ‘valued’ or judged and criticized in a variety of ways, but nearly always within the context of patriarchal culture and its norms.

(Issues in Women's Studies S.)

Edited by Frances Bonner, Lizbeth Goodman, Richard Allen, Linda Jones and Catherine King 1992 Open University

Cultural Representations and gender concerns itself with the activities and interests of ordinary women.  Most of the articles in the book could be described as examples of feminist cultural studies. They ask about how questions in particular female audiences use texts, how meaning is made from the and how they are incorporated into everyday life.  There is also special concern with how they evolve and grow from everyday life.

In reference to cultural representation this book looks at how women are represented, how we represent ourselves and what we do with the representations we encounter. There is a clear distinction between representation and reflection.  Representation indicates that some kind of modulation or interpretive development involved in representation. Some manipulation or transformation is unavoidable. Not even photographs are reflections – they are two dimensionalrepresentations; which we learn to read and interpret in different ways. 

Sources: de Lauretis, 1989, pp. 5 – 6  
Introduction: On imaging women 1

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