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In this chapter, I respond to the thoughtful and insightful critical discussions of my book, The Politics of Our Selves, offered by Colin Koopman, Johanna Meehan, and Christopher Zurn. After distinguishing between the interpretive, conceptual, and practical–political aims of the book, I defend my interpretive claims vis-a-vis Foucault and Habermas against criticisms raised by Koopman and Zurn, clarify my understanding of the conceptual aim of the book in response to Koopman's critique, and indicate how my approach to the practical–political questions about overturning gender subordination raised by Zurn and Meehan can be developed further.
Amy Allen's book, The Politics of Our Selves, advances feminists beyond current stalemates that insist that to acknowledge the importance of Habermas's normative insights…
Amy Allen's book, The Politics of Our Selves, advances feminists beyond current stalemates that insist that to acknowledge the importance of Habermas's normative insights, is to deny the significance of Foucault's description of the impact that power has on subject formation. In this article I describe Allen's position and suggest its strengths and importance, criticize some of Allen's arguments and offer suggestions for advancing the direction of Allen's argument.
The contributions included in this volume provide critical assessments of both a range of traditions in social theory, and of their current relevance. In addition, they represent endeavors to apply, refine, integrate, or advance particular traditions in order to enhance our ability to analyze conditions of social life in the twenty-first century and to confront a variety of related challenges. Several of the contributions present efforts to combine the application, refinement, integration, and advancement of particular theoretical traditions. Thematically, they cover several areas in social theory and a spectrum of perspectives, including poststructuralism, feminist theory, and especially critical theory. Chapters address such issues as the authoritarian personality; charisma; the relationship between power, agency, and subjectivity; self-estrangement; pragmatism; and globalization.