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Since its inception, Polity has been committed to publishing pioneering and innovative texts in gender studies and feminist theory. The objective has been twofold: to produce a distinctive list in these areas and to integrate a concern with gender and feminist insights into the list as a whole.
Among our many well known authors in this field are Catherine Malabou , Carole Pateman, Henrietta Moore, Anne Phillips, Catherine Hall, Michèle Barrett, Nancy Fraser, Seyla Benhabib, Raewyn Connell, Lois McNay, Lynne Segal, Susan Hekman, Judith Squires, Mary Lyndon Shanley, Donna Dickenson, Sylvia Walby, Rosalind Minsky, Anne Oakley, Jeffrey Weeks, Elizabeth Wright, Rosi Braidotti, Linda McDowell, Jill Steans, Lucy Bland, Lorna Doan, Nicole Ward Jouve, Janet Wolff, Hilary Rose and Leonore Davidoff.
Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.
Gottfried: Gender, Work, and Economy
"With its nuanced and systematic review of all the important issues, this will become a classic work on the field of gender and work."
Sylvia Walby, Lancaster University
This engaging new text uses a feminist lens to crack open the often hidden worlds of gender and work, addressing enduring questions about how structural inequalities are produced and why they persist. Making visible the social relationships that drive the global economy, the book explores how economic transformations not only change the way we work, but how we live our lives.
Thompson and Armato: Investigating Gender
"Investigating Gender makes great use of feminism and sociology, and should open students' minds. My students could certainly benefit from this book - I think they would read it and like it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the book. Before I read Investigating Gender, I didn't think we needed another gender text. I was wrong."
Linda Treiber, Kennesaw State University
Connell: Gender 2nd edition
"Presenting the leading edge of gender theory and research, the second edition of Gender is the smartest and most compelling introduction to critical gender studies that is currently available. Connell remains a steady and reliable guide for the student of gender and society."
Steven Seidman, State University of New York at Albany
"Harriet Bradley’s Gender is a wide-ranging and impressive survey of 30 years of feminist theorizing. Interleaved with gripping reflections on an individual's gendered life, this book will be an invaluable resource for teaching about gender across the social sciences."
Linda McDowell, University of Oxford
Rahman and Jackson : Gender and Sexuality
"The book offers a thorough overview both of long-standing debates around gender and sexuality, and of current issues. It nicely locates the debates within the sociological tradition, and this provides a distinctive, and valuable feature. Not the least of the merits of this book is its international focus, and it will prove invaluable for students exploring the diverse pattern of sexuality and gender in an age of globalization. The authors are at the cutting edge of their subject, and so is the book."
Jeffrey Weeks, author of Sexuality, Third Edition and Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London South Bank University
Milestone and Meyer : Gender and Popular Culture
"Gender and Popular Culture expertly ties together the last few decades of research on its title themes, then brings these up to date in an impressive, useful manner. Theoretically rich, it is particularly successful in offering original, smart analyses of recent popular cultural phenomena (from Mad Men through men's magazines). This engaging book should find a wide audience among students and teachers of gender studies, popular culture, and media."
Will Straw, McGill University
Talbot: Language and Gender 2nd edition
"A comprehensive, theoretically-sophisticated and accessible introduction to the field of language and gender. Unlike other language and gender textbooks, Talbot foregrounds the importance of language and gender studies to the analysis of popular culture and mass media ‘texts’. Thus, Talbot’s book will appeal not only to students and scholars of linguistics, but to anyone with a serious interest in cultural studies."
Susan Ehrlich, York University
Gill: Gender and the Media
"Gender and the Media is a lively and stimulating read and works as an excellent introduction for students in the field of media and gender studies. It is also a grown-up book that moves beyond the current feminist preoccupation with ‘girls’, to a renewed focus on ‘women’ in their infinite variety. I strongly recommend it."
European Journal of Women’s Studies
Rose: What is Gender History?
Paying close attention to both classic texts in the field and the latest literature, Rose examines the origins and development of the field of gender history and elucidates current debates and controversies: the significance of race, class and ethnicity for how gender affects society, culture and politics; the histories of masculinity; how gender illuminates the histories of revolution, war and nationalism, industrialization and labour relations, politics and citizenship, colonialism and imperialism.
Cohn: Women and Wars
Where are the women? In traditional historical and scholarly accounts of the making and fighting of wars, women are often nowhere to be seen. With few exceptions, war stories are told as if men were the only ones who plan, fight, are injured by, and negotiate ends to wars. As the pages of this book tell, though, those accounts are far from complete.
This book at once provides a glimpse into where women are in war, and gives readers the tools to understood women’s (told and untold) war experiences in the greater context of the gendered nature of global social and political life.
André: Feeling and Moods
"This book illuminates the very real possibility of authentic well-being and happiness for each of us, right here and now, without anything having to change, however astonishing and improbable that proposition may seem."
Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness for Beginners and Coming to Our Senses
Drawing on his own practice as a psychiatrist, André explores some of the most important feelings and moods and shows how, by understanding them better, we can achieve a calmer, happier and more fulfilling life.
"A complex and critical overview of the field of gender and security, which familiarizes readers with the field in a fair and even-handed manner and provides forward-looking challenges to the field's research agendas."
Laura Sjoberg, University of Florida
This book demonstrates that security debates exhibit gendered understandings of key concepts, and whilst these gendered assumptions may benefit specific people, they are often detrimental to others, particularly in the key realm of policy-making.
Malabou: Ontology of the Accident
"Through engaging profiles of Spinoza, Deleuze, Proust, Kafka, Duras, Freud and others, Catherine Malabou has produced an exciting extension of her analysis of plasticity in its darkest and most disturbing dimension. Explosive plasticityÑcatastrophe, breakdown, destruction without remission, repair or promiseÑsculpts a wholly new deformed form, a deviation in being as a form of being, an adieu to life while still alive, each with a phenomenology of its own. Her unique exploration of the accident as a category of being confirms once again her reputation as one of the brightest stars in the firmament of the new generation of French philosophers."
John D. Caputo
Illouz: Why Love Hurts
"In this bold and groundbreaking book Eva Illouz argues that there is something qualitatively new in the modern experience of romantic suffering. What is wrong, she argues, are not dysfunctional childhoods or insufficiently self-aware psyches, but rather the set of social and cultural tensions that have come to structure the modern self. Readers may not agree with all of Illouz's hypotheses, but none will fail to be provoked by them - and in so doing be forced to challenge their own assumptions about love and modern life itself."
Susan Neiman, Director of the Einstein Forum and author of Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grownup Idealists
Cixous, Eve Escapes
"Eve Escapes is all at once a poetic meditation on aging, a performative novel on the powers of writing, and a passionate description of a literary family. This book, published in a beautiful translation, is a high point in Cixous's narrative oeuvre, whose singularity and magic are simply inextinguishable."
Laurent Dubreuil, Cornell University
Kaufmann, Love Online
The internet has changed the face of romantic encounters. In a world where anything is possible, a potential date - whether it be a one-night stand or the start of a more lasting relationship - can be just a click away. Anyone looking for love online can throw off their inhibitions and can say what they have never dared to before.
Gilligan: Joining the Resistance
"Helps heal the split between reason and emotion, mind and body, self and relationships, especially as they relate to gender identity. There is much food for thought in this work."
The Scientific and Medical Network
Walby: The Future of Feminism
"Once again, Walby puts her finger on the critical issues facing feminists. This balanced and thoughtful assessment of the changes feminism has wrought and the challenges it faces is unlikely to please everyone, but it will surely move debates in a more fruitful direction than the debates over whether feminism is dead or a sell-out to neoliberalism. Her broad and bracing overview of the tensions inherent in the multiple alternative feminist projects going on today should be required reading in all gender and women's studies departments."
Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Connell: Confronting Equality
"Confronting Equality showcases sociology at work, making sense of complex and shifting global dynamics of class, gender, and intellectual labor. And since this is the work of Raewyn Connell, it is also social science at its best: characterized by richly theorized empirical research, and carving out a place for a radically generative and engaged world sociology."
Michael A. Messner, University of Southern California
Malabou: Changing Difference
"Confronting the current anti-essentialist doxa, Malabou claims for woman an essence that is never more itself than when it escapes its own clutches. This essentialism is not merely tactical or pragmatic, it is a bold philosophical position that gives back to feminism its prematurely sacrificed reason to be. A rare book, one of the few in history, in which philosophy rises to the challenges posed by sexual difference."
Professor Joan Copjec, University of Buffalo
Kaufmann: The Curious History of Love
"As sociologists have discovered the centrality of emotions as organizers of social life, Jean-Claude Kaufmann has emerged as the most insightful student of how romantic life is shaped through 'sentimental education.' In The Curious History of Love, Kaufmann succeeds in demonstrating that love has been shaped through historical contingencies and contemporary expectations. Focusing on how women experience this most curious sensation - the tingly experience that we call love - Kaufmann draws from history and from personal stories to produce a lively and astute analysis that speaks to the emotional economy as a source of joy and pain."
Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University
Sandford: Plato and Sex
"This is an original new contribution to the debate on the limits of the concepts of sex and gender. Sandford questions traditional and feminist interpretations of Plato with equal power and insight, and opens a new possibility for conceptualizing human existence."
Sara Heinämaa, University of Helsinki
Phillips and Reay: Sex Before Sexuality
"Finally, a book on the history of sex that traverses the period boundary commonly erected between medieval and early modern. Deftly weaving together sources across a longue durée, this lucid survey is packed with examples that demonstrate the potential mismatch between modern sexual categories and premodern experience."
Robert Mills, King's College London
Phillips: Gender and Culture
"Anne Phillips’s work demonstrates the exhilaration and importance of sustained critique. This insightful work is the latest contribution in her deft and decisive critiques of multiculturalism."
Henrietta Moore, London School of Economics
Moore: The Subject of Anthropology
"Henrietta Moore seeks to build a theory of gendered subjectivity by articulating the insights of psychoanalysis, anthropology and feminism. The extended readings of psychoanalytic theory through anthropological and feminist eyes are clear and illuminating. This is a rich and thought-provoking book."
Sherry B. Ortner, University of California-Los Angeles
Connell: Masculinities 2nd edition
This is an exciting new edition of Connell's ground-breaking text, which has become a classic work on the nature and construction of masculine identity.
Lloyd: Judith Butler
"For students and faculty struggling to understand Judith Butler, I strongly recommend this book. Lloyd proves to be a reliable guide who is not afraid to engage critically with Butler’s gender theory and politics."
Steven Seidman, University at Albany, SUNY
"Keltner's book is highly original, insightful, and promises to change the way scholars have traditionally read Kristeva's work."
Kelly Oliver, Vanderbilt University
"The book is eloquent, well researched, and written by one of the sharpest feminist philosophers and brightest academic thinkers on the UK scene. It should in fact establish itself as a model for introductory philosophical texts. This is absolutely first-rate work – philosophy at its best."
Tina Chanter, DePaul University