Chapter

Geographers and sexual difference: feminist contributions

Linda McDowell

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.003.0020

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Geographers and sexual difference: feminist contributions

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Divisions based on the assumption that men and women are different from one another permeate all areas of social life as well as varying across space and between places. In the home and in the family, in the classroom or in the labour market, in politics, and in power relations, men and women are assumed to be different, to have distinct rights and obligations that affect their daily lives and their standard of living. Thirty years ago, there were no courses about gender in British geography departments. This chapter discusses the challenges to geographical knowledge, and to the definition of knowledge more generally, that have arisen from critical debates about the meaning of difference and diversity in feminist scholarship. It examines a number of significant conceptual ideas, namely: the public and the private; sex, gender and body; difference, identity and intersectionality; knowledge; and justice. Finally, it comments on the role of feminism in the academy as a set of political practices as well as epistemological claims.

Keywords: British geography; sex; gender; women; knowledge; justice; feminism; intersectionality

Chapter.  9089 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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