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The Politics of the Body: Gender in a Neoliberal and Neoconservative Age [Paperback]

Alison Phipps
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Feb 2014
The body is a site of impassioned, fraught and complex debate in the West today. In one political moment, left–wingers, academics and feminists have defended powerful men accused of sex crimes, positioned topless pictures in the tabloids as empowering, and opposed them for sexualizing breasts and undermining their ‘natural’ function. At the same time they have been criticized by extreme–right groups for ignoring honour killings and other ‘culture–based’ forms of violence against women. How can we make sense of this varied terrain? In this important and challenging new book, Alison Phipps constructs a political sociology of women’s bodies around key debates: sexual violence, gender and Islam, sex work and motherhood. Her analysis uncovers dubious rhetorics and paradoxical allegiances, and contextualizes these within the powerful coalition of neoliberal and neoconservative frameworks. She explores how ‘feminism’ can be caricatured and vilified at both ends of the political spectrum, arguing that Western feminisms are now faced with complex problems of positioning in a world where gender often comes second to other political priorities. This book provides a welcome investigation into Western politics around women’s bodies, and will be particularly useful to scholars and upper–level students of sociology, political science, gender studies and cultural studies, as well as to anyone interested in how bodies become politicized.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (28 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745648886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745648880
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 485,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Alison Phipps is Director of Gender Studies and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sussex. She writes about the politics of women's bodies, focusing on issues such as sexual violence, sex work, childbirth, breastfeeding, and abortion. From 2009 - 2012 she was Chair of the Feminist and Women's Studies Association of the UK and Ireland. She lives in Brighton with her partner and two children.

Product Description


′′This is a brave and important book. Beautifully written, cogently argued and with vivid up–to–date examples, it shows how a neoliberal and neoconservative politics is rewriting our common sense about bodies. A must–read for students and scholars of gender, sociology and cultural studies.′′ Rosalind Gill, City University London ′′Alison Phipps revises the old feminist understanding of “victimhood” in the context of neoliberal and neoconservative politics. Her analysis shows how mythologies about victims not only prevail but also are spurred on by the political and economic agendas of contemporary capitalism.′′ Kristin Bumiller, Amherst College

About the Author

Alison Phipps is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Director of Gender Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. Between 2009 and 2012, she was Chair of the Feminist and Women′s Studies Association of the UK and Ireland.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - 27 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent - I'm starting on my second read-through having read it in almost one sitting when it arrived. By viewing through the contemporary political frame of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, so much is illuminated that I had struggled to understand before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and well written 8 Jun 2014
By Pink
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a feminist I found this refreshing, insightful, and clever. A fantastic resource for further reading. A joy to read. Treat yourself. Give it to women and men you know.
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