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Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity - Conclusion, From Parody to Politics Summary & Analysis

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Butler's main question is whether feminist politics can dispense with the idea of a 'subject' or concrete category of 'woman' and survive. She thinks it can and wants to resist a 'foundationalist' basis for identity politics. There is no need for this. We do not have to locate agency in the category of woman. Subjects are situated and identity is asserted and developed through social relationships.

Social discourse constructs the opposition between I and Thou. Political identity discussions supports these oppositions. These oppositions can be embedded in language and are often used oppressively. We can, however, make use of subversive acts like parody in order to explode these categories and oppositions. Theoretical inquiry can place the political in the context of destroying identity.

Butler has tried to argue for her thesis by describing a genealogy of the...

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