What does Judith Butler Mean by the Social Construction and Performativity of Both Sex and Gender - Research Paper Example

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This paper discusses Judith Butler's the social construction and performativity of both sex and gender. The paper illustrates these ideas further with a discussion of normative and queer performances of gender identity. Butler perceives gendered subjectivity as a history of identifications…
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What does Judith Butler Mean by the Social Construction and Performativity of Both Sex and Gender
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Download file to see previous pages “Woman” in this case is a gender term that hinges on both social and cultural factors. Her academic prowess is evident in the many books she has authored.
In one of her most influential book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Butler maintains that feminism has made a phenomenal mistake by attempting to assert that women were a group bearing universal characteristics and interests (Kirby 2006, p.19). She argued that this approach executed an unconscious regulation of gender relations, reinforcing a dual view of gender relations whereby human beings were categorized into precise groups, male and women. This plugged opportunities and prospects for a person to create and decide their own identities. Therefore, Feminism had closed down options for formations of identities instead of opening them up (Butler 2011, p. 81).
Most of Butler’s work incorporates four prominent theoretical perspectives; psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, and poststructuralist. The theoretical frameworks have had a significant impact on her formulations of identity (gendered and sexed identity). Most of her books ask questions dwelling on the formation of identity and subjectivity; they trace the processes by which people become subjects. Similarly, she probes the assumptions of the gendered/ sexed or raced identities, constructed for and by the people amid the power structures (Kirby 2006, p. 20).
When interrogating “the subject,” Butler questions the processes by which the subjects come into being, by what means as well as how the constructions work and fail. Butler looks at psychoanalysis as a grand narrative concerning on shaping of “woman” as a sole category. According to Butler, psychoanalysis is a configuration about origins and ends with the qualification and exclusion of some aspects.
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