On Female Body Experience: "Throwing Like a Girl" and Other Essays / Edition 1

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Overview


Written over a span of more than two decades, the essays by Iris Marion Young collected in this volume describe diverse aspects of women's lived body experience in modern Western societies. Drawing on the ideas of several twentieth century continental philosophers--including Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty--Young constructs rigorous analytic categories for interpreting embodied subjectivity. The essays combine theoretical description of experience with normative evaluation of the unjust constraints on their freedom and opportunity that continue to burden many women.

The lead essay rethinks the purpose of the category of "gender" for feminist theory, after important debates have questioned its usefulness. Other essays include reflection on the meaning of being at home and the need for privacy in old age residences as well as essays that analyze aspects of the experience of women and girls that have received little attention even in feminist theory--such as the sexuality of breasts, or menstruation as punctuation in a woman's life story. Young describes the phenomenology of moving in a pregnant body and the tactile pleasures of clothing.

While academically rigorous, the essays are also written with engaging style, incorporating vivid imagery and autobiographical narrative. On Female Body Experience raises issues and takes positions that speak to scholars and students in philosophy, sociology, geography, medicine, nursing, and education.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Not only does it group together essays representative of Young's on-going thinking about female embodiment and her engagement with phenomenological and feminist philosophers over the span of her career- thus of interest to scholars- this collection also provides a thematically cohesive work that can be read as an introduction to questions of lived bodily experience from a feminist perspective, hence representing a valuable resource for teaching." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Young's description of female body experience is certainly educational, but she also has a polemical and political purpose in mind. She seeks to reinterpret certain experiences as positive in order to counteract the devaluation of the female and the feminine she sees in present and past social practices. --Jenna Silber Storey, University of Chicago

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195161939
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2004
  • Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,276,729
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Iris Marion Young is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where she is affiliated with the Center for Gender Studies. Her works in feminist theory, theory of justice, and democratic theory have been published in major journals in the U.S. and translated into seven languages. Her previous books include Justice and the Politics of Difference (Princeton 1990), Intersecting Voices: Dilemmas of Gender, Political Philosophy and Policy (Princeton, 1997), and Inclusion and Democracy (Oxford, 2000).

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Table of Contents

1 Lived body vs. gender : reflections on social structure and subjectivity 12
2 Throwing like a girl : a phenomenology of feminine body comportment, motility, and spatiality 27
3 Pregnant embodiment : subjectivity and alienation 46
4 Women recovering our clothes 62
5 Breasted experience : the look and the feeling 75
6 Menstrual meditations 97
7 House and home : feminist variations on a theme 123
8 A room of one's own : old age, extended care, and privacy 155
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