The Biopolitics of Gender by Jemima RepoThe Biopolitics of Gender by Jemima Repo

The Biopolitics of Gender

byJemima Repo

Paperback | July 15, 2017

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Winner, 2017 International Studies Association's Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section Best Book awardMichel Foucault identified sexuality as one of the defining biopolitical technologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As Jemima Repo argues in this book, "gender" has come to be the major sexual signifier of the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first century. In fact, in this historicalexcavation of the biopolitical significance of the term, she argues that it could not have emerged at any other time. Repo shows that gender is not originally a feminist term, but emerged from the study of intersex and transsexual persons in the fields of sexology and psychology in the1950s and1960s. Prior to the 1950s gender was used to refer to various types of any number of phenomena - sometimes sex, but not necessarily. Its only regular usage was in linguistics, where it was used to classify nouns as masculine, feminine, or neuter. In the mid-twentieth century, gender shifted frombeing a nominator of types to designating the sexual order of things. As with sexuality in the Victorian period, over the last sixty years, the notion of gender has become an entire field of knowledge. Feminists famously took up the term in the 1970s to challenge biological determinism, and ingovernment, "women" has been replaced by "gender" in policy-making processes that aim to advance equality between women and men. Gender has also become a key variable in social scientific surveys of different socio-political phenomena like voting, representation, employment, salaries, and parentalleave decisions. The Biopolitics of Gender analyzes the strategies and tactics of power involved in the use of "gender" in sexology and psychology, and subsequently its reversal and counter-deployment by feminists in the 1970s and 1980s. It critiques the emergence of gender in demographic science and theimplications of this genealogy for feminist theory and politics today. Drawing on a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources, the book makes a major theoretical argument about gender as a historically specific apparatus of biopower and calls into question the emancipatory potential of thecategory in feminist theory and politics.
Jemima Repo is Lecturer in the Politics of Gender at Newcastle University.
Title:The Biopolitics of GenderFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:July 15, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190691514

ISBN - 13:9780190691516

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Editorial Reviews

"Consistently attentive to the intersections of sexuality, race, and class, the book will be essential reading for students of political theory, women's studies, and queer theory." --CHOICE