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Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity Paperback – May 12 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 12 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415389550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415389556
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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In a new introduction to the 10th-anniversary edition of Gender Trouble--among the two or three most influential books (and by far the most popular) in the field of gender studies--Judith Butler explains the complicated critical response to her groundbreaking arguments and the ways her ideas have evolved as a result. Nevertheless, she has resisted the urge to revise what has become a feminist classic (as well as an elegant defense of drag, given Butler's emphasis on the performative nature of gender). The book was produced, according to Butler, "as part of the cultural life of a collective struggle that has had, and will continue to have, some success in increasing the possibilities for a livable life for those who live, or try to live, on the sexual margins." An attack on the essentialism of French feminist theory and its basis in structuralist anthropology, Gender Trouble expands to address the cultural prejudices at play in genetic studies of sex determination, as well as the uses of gender parody, and also provides a critical genealogy of the naturalization of sex. A primer in gender studies--and sexy reading for college cafés. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'Rereading this book, as well as reading it for the first time, reshapes the categories through which we experience and perform our lives and bodies. To be troubled in this way is an intellectual pleasure and a political necessity.' - Donna Haraway


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lvdh on March 23 2004
Format: Paperback
Although many ideas in Gender Trouble are not entirely new or anything (please do read the first 30 pages of Teresa de Lauretis 'Technologies of Gender', which contains in more accessible prose many of the arguments put forward in Gender Trouble), this book seems to have appeared at just the right time; over the last 10 years it has had a major influence on thinking about gender in a wide variety of scholarship, and for this reason alone it is worth reading. Don't be disencouraged by all the stuff on Freud and Lacan in the second chapter, just read on: it's worth the effort. Butler's reading of Kristeva, however, seems somewhat unfair, one-sided if you will; don't be fooled in thinking Kristeva is not worth reading. But in all, Gender Trouble
is a must read for anyone interested in gender/queer theory, feminism, or politics in general!
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Format: Paperback
Gender Trouble is simply the best available survey and critique of the philosophical work of the leading theorists of French intellectual feminism from Beauvoir on down to Irigaray, Wittig, and Kristeva. Her work owes a significant debt to Michel Foucault's work on discourses of power, a debt which is chiefly acknowledged in the simple fact that everyone except Foucault takes a serious bashing. Beyond the pleasures of intellectual fireworks, the book is politically important for two reasons. First, it shows where many feminist positions fall into the traps of categories which reproduce the conditions they seek to evade; second, she addresses the question of action. Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron warned twenty five years ago that real feminism needs two parts: a theory of women's oppression and a plan of action. Butler, unlike many feminist intellectuals, proposes a plan of action. The book is ideal as a cap to a course of readings in feminist theory. One final note: recent attacks on Judith for her obscure language are unfair and misguided. Would you attack cancer researchers for their obscure language? What about the engineers whose obscure calculations enable us to drive the highways or take an elevator with relative safety? Judith is a specialist who has mastered the language of her field. She is simply the best we have. The book requires patience, but the rewards of thoughtful reading and re-reading are great. Thanks, Ms B.
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Format: Paperback
I'm no expert but I'm reminded of what a friend once confessed to me: it's hard talking about gender without it turning into a freak show. To her credit, Judith Butler speaks sincerely, with great subtlety, about a very touchy subject. Nevertheless, when you consider that words like "sex," "heterosexual," and "homosexual" are hardly a century old, you have to ask why do they seem so certain, so meaningful, so permanent and timeless? Why is it so hard to consider these words as concealing rather than revealing? In the tradition of Marx and Foucault, Butler begins to demystify their credibility and reveals how gender is something which is 'performative'. By this, she does not mean like a role which is donned (though those who don reveal) but rather as a repetitive, cultural activity from which identity is derived. This work is thought to be the beginning of 'queer theory.'
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Format: Paperback
after reviewing what other customers thought of gender trouble, i decided that it was time someone spoke in pain english.
butler's feminist text is a brilliant critical examination of gender, a must for any reader interested in feminist or queer theory. the language is difficult, yet richly rewarding...go slow, let your mind explore the many avenues butler leads her reader down. after reading gender trouble, you may like the text, you may dislike it, but there is NO way that you won't learn a great deal and be introduced to a variety of original and provocative thoughts on feminism and gender studies.
there is a reason why butler's gender trouble is widely considered one the revolutionary texts on feminist theory...so i encourage you to endure the "difficult" writing and broaden your horizons.
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By A Customer on June 29 2003
Format: Paperback
Though I agree with what others have written of Butler's prose, I think her approach to the ubiquitous "nature versus nurture" question of gender is an important one (politically, socially, culturally, psychologically...) At times her rhetoric is questionable & her ideas somewhat biased (to the point of bordering on... well, less than practical). However, that should not, by any means, dissuade anyone from reading her work. Despite the difficulties it might present, "Gender Trouble" is challenging, thoughtful and thought-provoking-- an enlightening experience for anyone willing to put forth some effort.
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By A Customer on Oct. 5 2000
Format: Paperback
I've found Gender Trouble to be incredibly clear and honest in its argument. Butler provides a thoroughly groundbreaking geneaology of gender representations (if we should call them such), and successfully manages to combine many difficult theories and influences. In response to the previous reviewer, it seems twice as pretentious to disregard this phenomenal work due to so-called lack of clarity and coherence as to accept it for what it is: one of the most thoughtful and important critiques of feminism and gender in this century. Anyway, read it yourself and decide. In my opinion, it's well worth it.
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