Identity Politics and French Feminism Today


In light of the changes to social and economic organization within Western capitalism after 1989, contemporary feminist thought has once again turned to reconsider the potential of identity politics, if not in quite so many words. In the face of mutable borders, bodies, and political means of representation, the processes of corporeal and discursive representations have become an acute area of focus for scholarly analysis and activist practice. Yet, just as theories of post-Fordism risk producing a certain nostalgia for the clearly defined boundaries of the factory, so too does the return to identity politics risk flirting with a regression into unsatisfactory (if better understood) strategies for contestation. However, as evidenced by recent works of European feminism, this revival of some of the principles of identity politics appears to be mobilized towards new ends, integrating both anti-essentialist and materialist critiques. The question this work asks, and that we must ask…

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