Joan Scott

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The Joan Scott reading. Deconstructing Equality-Versus Difference: or, the uses of Poststructuralist theory for Feminism, starts out talking about the thought behind theory and the need for a theory behind the woman’s feminism movement. “We need theory that can analyze the workings of patriarchy in all its manifestations- ideological, institutional, organizational, subjective- accounting not only for continuous but also for change over time.” (pg 33). She basically is stating that we need theory to let us think in many ways by understanding the different goals within the movement. Then she moves into four useful terms that are associated with the feminist movement. The four terms are language, discourse, difference and deconstruction. Language goes more in depth than just the wording used in the native tongue and vocabulary. It’s more of a measure of understanding how social relations are conceived by understanding how they work. When studying history we must both understand the language being spoken along with the contextual meaning during the time period. Discourse can be labeled as historically, socially, and institutionally specific structure of statements, terms, categories and beliefs. “Discourse is thus contained or expressed in organizations, in institutions as well as in words; all of these constitute texts or documents to be read.” (pg 35). Discourse in other words can be known as the truths we hold to a certain field. Difference is a important construction of the concept behind analyzing. “Any unitary concept in fact contains repressed or negated material; it is established in explicit opposition to another term”.(pg 37). Difference can be seen as any possible opposing idea to another idea. Lastly is Deconstruction which is defined as the dismantling or destructive enterprise which can be often applied the analyzing of works.
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