By Lauren Swayne Barthold
This booklet attracts at the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer to notify a feminist standpoint of social identities. Lauren Swayne Barthold strikes past solutions that both shield the target nature of identities or push aside their value altogether. construction at the paintings of either hermeneutic and non-hermeneutic feminist theorists of identification, she asserts the relevance of recommendations like horizon, coherence, discussion, play, software, and pageant for constructing a thought of identification. This quantity argues that as intersubjective interpretations, social identities are very important methods of fostering which means and reference to others. Barthold additionally demonstrates how a hermeneutic method of social identities delivers opinions of and resistance to identity-based oppression.
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Extra resources for A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities
Should one be seen as white by others in every situation? Why or why not? In other words, she does not explain adequately whether, and indeed why, each of one’s visible identities should remain operative in every situation. Although I affirm her argument that identities are epistemically and politically viable, she has left unaddressed the question of how one is to evaluate the legitimacy of specific identities in specific contexts. It is precisely this sort of question about the normative nature of identities that is the work of the remainder of this book to address.
Furthermore, in answering this question we will need to clarify whether her appeal to objectivity avoids normativity—as she expressly desires it. Let us hear Alcoff’s explanation of how she conceives an interpretative relation to our bodies and our reproductive practices: HORIZONS 35 The body is lived as it is lived in part because of the horizon with which it confronts the future. For girls, this horizon will generally include the future possibility of reproduction, even if this turns out never to come to pass and to have been physiologically impossible all along.
Thus, identities are not lived as a discrete and stable set of interests, but as a site from which one must engage in the process of meaning-making and thus from which one is open to the world. The hermeneutic insight is that the self operates in a situated plane, always culturally located with great specificity even as it is open onto an indeterminate future and a reinterpretable past not of its own creation. The self carries with it always this horizon as a specific location, with substantive content … but whose content only exists in interpretation and in constant motion.
A Hermeneutic Approach to Gender and Other Social Identities by Lauren Swayne Barthold