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Title: Parité and the multiculturalism debates in France : considering French Caribbean perspectives
Author: Ducoulombier, Audrey Renee Regine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3433 7179
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2002
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Introduction: What is this thesis about? Alain Touraine (2000) has asked the question `Can We Live Together? ' His book is just one recent example of a wide debate on how political community can be built and reconciled with differences among its members, what Buber called mutuality, what Linklater has discussed as `community', or what is sometimes understood as `social solidarity' in European Union debates (Buber, 1961; Linklater, 1998). Touraine, unlike some others in this debate, emphasises the importance of building community on the basis of a broad recognition of difference amongst its members rather than through the assertion of single claims of universal validity enforced (whether through one form of social power or another) across differences, eclipsing or oppressing them. The recognition of difference, or, more specifically, the realisation of the ideal of a community which is capable at the same time of constituting an effective collectivity while recognising rather than submerging or oppressing difference, is key to Touraine's work. So it is too in that of many other writers and activists in the post communist, post-liberal, arguably fragmented and allegedly `postmodern' world in which we have found ourselves since 1989. Feminist theory and feminist practice have their own distinctive ways of approaching these questions. This thesis is concerned to develop a critique of particular arguments in French feminism which revolve around these problems. But the arguments which the thesis takes up have a significance not merely for a set of internal debates within feminist scholarship, important though those may be in themselves, but also in the context of a wider set of conversations about the nature of political community. They relate directly to political action, to resistance and community building, as well as to theoretical argument. What all the writers in this broad field have in common, including feminist scholars, is the view that such a community can only be formed by what Hannah Arendt (1973,1993) identified as self-aware, active citizens who take their differences seriously and who act as well as think democratically. But the specifically feminist arguments, from the relatively liberal Pateman (1989,1994) to the radical feminism of Irigaray (1994,2000), see this debate as flawed unless it can recognise both the specific disadvantages experienced and the specific contributions offered by women
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available