Texts, Facts, and Femininity: Exploring the Relations of Ruling

Texts, Facts, and Femininity: Exploring the Relations of Ruling

Texts, Facts, and Femininity: Exploring the Relations of Ruling

Texts, Facts, and Femininity: Exploring the Relations of Ruling

Synopsis

'A crucial book for feminists, for sociology and the new "political anthropological historical school". It informs us how we are differently "situated" in and through social relations, which texts and images mediate, organise and construct.' Philip Corrigan, Professor of Applied Sociology, Exeter University Dorothy E. Smith is Professor of Sociology in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto. She is the author of The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology .

Excerpt

The papers making up this book build on the two lines of inquiry I have been exploring for a number of years. It seemed, for a long time, that they traveled on parallel tracks and would not meet. Gradually I came to see them as aspects of one unfolding inquiry into contemporary history and society and, indeed, that the underground grubbing and molework that went into bringing them into coherent relation to one another was foundational to an ability to engage properly with either. These two lines of inquiry are, first, into what it means to explore the social from the site of women’s experience and beginning therefore with an experiencing and embodied subject, and second, into the social organization of the objectified knowledges that are essential constituents of the relations of ruling of contemporary capitalism. the methods of inquiry developed and used in these chapters have emerged from conjoining these lines of inquiry.

I began thinking through how to develop sociological inquiry from the site of the experiencing and embodied subject as a sociology from the standpoint of women. in the women’s movement, we began to discover that we lived in a world put together in ways in which we had had very little say. We found that we had participated unknowingly in a culture and an intellectual life in the making of which we had had little part. We discovered that we had been in various ways silenced, deprived of the authority to speak, and that our experience therefore did not have a voice, lacked indeed a’language, for we had taken from the cultural and intellectual world created largely by men the terms, themes, conceptions of the subject and subjectivity, of feeling, emotion, goals, relations, and an object world assembled in textually

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