University of Tasmania
whole_BanselPeter1998_thesis.pdf (12.59 MB)

Disrupting the familiar

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:39 authored by Bansel, Peter
I have constructed a narrative that draws on a variety of traditions, disciplines and discourses. This narrative was located in the discursive territory made available to me by my reading of poststructuralist feminist theory. I adopted a conception of poststructuralist feminism as a transformational politics involving a struggle against domination and oppression, a struggle motivated by a desire to change ourselves as well as the structures in which we live, a struggle which results in the transformation of both ourselves and our world. I have used the production of the text as an opportunity to reflect on the constructed nature of my own subjectivity. These reflections informed consideration of the construction of subjectivity in relation to five themes: one, feminism, patriarchy and power; two, ideology, discourse and language; three, truth, knowledge and reality; four, society, agency and subjectivity; five, dualism, consciousness and transformation. These themes were organised around the idea of betrayal and explored/expressed through three different kinds of text: autobiography; literary fiction; and academic theory. These were laid alongside each other and each intended to be an iteration of similar ideas expressed through the employment of different discursive styles. The text was seen as an attempt at critical deconstruction, as a collision between the wider social structures and the life stories. Through this collision, the intention was to provoke the reader to critically reflect on the life stories presented in this work and perhaps, like the author, interrogate the deceptive habituated familiarity of her/his own life stories. In searching for a non-dualistic formulation of the human subject I have attempted to locate a perspective that allowed conceptualisation of body, self, person, identity and subjectivity in terms of both structure and agency. Such a search involved an exploration of possible relationships between people, their historical, political and social circumstances and the choices that they make. In exploring possible relationships between people, history, circumstance and choice I acknowledged that social structures do not exist without human subjectivity, and that social structures define the boundaries within which human behaviour, feeling, thought and action are both made possible and given meaning. I thus sought to articulate the inter-relationship of the human subject as agent and the social structure in which their subjectivity is enabled, enacted or performed in ways that proscribe, or enable, change.


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Copyright 1997 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 236-252). Contents: Ch.1. Feminism, patriarchy and power.--Ch.2. Ideology, discourse and language.--Ch.3. Knowledge, truth and reality.--Ch.4. Society, subjectivity and agency.--Ch.5. Dualism, consciousness and transformation

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