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Course Hero. "Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex Study Guide." November 23, 2020. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Bodies-That-Matter-On-the-Discursive-Limits-of-Sex/.
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Philosophy, Women's Studies
Judith Butler wrote Bodies That Matter to explore questions of sex and gender in terms of both the human psyche and the physical body. She examines ways that notions of sex and gender can be reinterpreted and reappropriated to allow for the myriad nuances and fluidities within each. Butler uses a multidisciplinary approach that employs literary and film criticism as well as philosophical theory and psychoanalysis.
Butler initially set out to "consider the materiality of the body" which she examines in parts of the text from which the title of the work springs. However, Butler notes in her preface that she was unable to limit the text to this bodily domain in its entirety. The body is thus a starting point, framework, or boundary from which Butler begins to question other frameworks and boundaries both real and imaginary. This starting point leads her to consider the phallus, the role of language, representations of gender and sex in literature and film, and the way that current representations of sex and gender need to be rethought.
This study guide for Judith Butler's Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.