Accounting for others: Feminism and representation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Questions of representation have come to occupy central positions in contemporary cultural analysis. In this essay, I want to address the politics of representation as they pertain to feminist possibilities within communications scholarship. My discussion comprises four parts. The introduction outlines my basic premises: the need to interrogate representation is placed in the context of the increasing difficulty of localizing feminism or pinning down the constitution of feminist knowledge. In the second part, I attempt to clarify some of the issues involved in problematizing representation by drawing on the arguments of two exemplary feminist theorists, Gayatri Spivak and Angela McRobbie. Here, philosophical and ethico- political considerations surrounding the question of representability are squared in theoretical terms. The third section takes up the concept of the audience and argues for the need to move away from sociological categories to a more humanistic and interpretive construction of audiences as “constituencies.�? At the same time, feminist cultural analysis must resist the uncritical celebration of audience activities as “resistance�? -that is, if the goal is to move beyond existing possibilities in the realm of culture. The last part of my discussion discusses some post-structuralist and feminist theories of colonial discourse and touches on the ways in which these emergent critiques have engaged representational problematics. 1

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen Making Meaning
Subtitle of host publicationNew Feminist Directions in Communication
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages60-79
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317367130
ISBN (Print)0415906296, 9781138940420
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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