Gender studies

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Gender studies is a field of interdisciplinary study which analyses race, ethnicity, sexuality and location.[1]

The philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said: “One is not born a woman, one becomes one.”[2] In gender studies, the term "gender" is used to refer to the social and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities, not to the state of being male or female in its entirety.[3] The field emerged from a number of different areas: the sociology of the 1950s and later (see Sociology of gender); the theories of the psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan; and the work of feminists such as Judith Butler.

Each field came to regard "gender" as a practice, sometimes referred to as something that is performative.[4] Feminist theory of psychoanalysis, articulated mainly by Julia Kristeva[5] (the "semiotic" and "abjection") and Bracha Ettinger[6] (the "matrixial trans-subjectivity" and the "primal mother-phantasies"), and informed both by Freud, Lacan and the Object relations theory, is very influential in gender studies.


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