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    Kinship Between Judith Butler and Anthropology? A Review Essay

    Strong, Thomas (2002) Kinship Between Judith Butler and Anthropology? A Review Essay. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 67 (3). pp. 401-418. ISSN 0014-1844

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    This essay critically evaluates Judith Butler’s recent writings on kinship. In this work, Butler challenges the universalist assumptions of psychoanalysis, hoping to lay the analytical groundwork for imagining new forms of familial relationship. Butler examines the way that anthropology and psychoanalysis have constructed the incest taboo as necessitating heteronormative forms of kinship. Butler’s critique of kinship, which draws on her theories of subjection, belies her own attachment to a vision of social life occupied primarily by normative institutions, in particular the state. I suggest that new forms of kinship must be understood on their own terms, whether or not they are accorded legitimacy in law or accepted by psychoanalysis. Anthropology’s ethnographic practice can emendate an account of subjection and recognition that obsessively looks to institutions and norms even as it criticizes them.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at
    Keywords: Kinship; homosexuality; the state; subjection;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Item ID: 4277
    Depositing User: Dr. Thomas Strong
    Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2013 16:49
    Journal or Publication Title: Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology
    Publisher: Taylor & Frnacis
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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