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Sexy Dressing Etc Duncan Kennedy

Sexy Dressing Etc

Duncan Kennedy

Published
ISBN : 9780674802940
Hardcover
272 pages
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 About the Book 

Radicalism after Communism? In the United States of America, where even liberalism is under deep suspicion? And what can a privileged white male have to say about it, after the civil rights and womens movements? In this book, Duncan Kennedy arguesMoreRadicalism after Communism? In the United States of America, where even liberalism is under deep suspicion? And what can a privileged white male have to say about it, after the civil rights and womens movements? In this book, Duncan Kennedy argues that an American radicalism is both possible and desirable. One base for radical politics is the big institutional workplace, where multicultural coalitions around issues like affirmative action can upset frozen hierarchies. But another is popular culture - whence his emphasis on phenomena like sexy dressing. Law provides the background for all kinds of group struggles, Kennedy argues, and law is never neutral. This theme of Critical Legal Studies (Kennedy is one of its founders) runs throughout the book. He shows how legal rules tilt the playing field, making it look as though oppressively unequal outcomes are just what everyone deserved. Cultural identity is one of Kennedys main concerns. He provides a new postcolonial reading of American national character as well as responses to black liberation theory and radical feminism. Kennedy asserts that cultural identity is contingent and fluid, at the same time that it is inescapable, and that within it individuals operate as free agents. The system exercises less control over life than we may think- small-scale resistance is always at least a possibility worth trying. In a key chapter Kennedy considers sexy dressing and sexual violence. He argues that the sexual abuse done by some men to some women is a way for all men to keep all women down. If pleasure and danger are used to keep women subordinate, must we renounce the erotic if we are to overcome domination? Kennedy argues that practiceslike sexy dressing have multiple meanings - some fitting into the false script according to which women invite abuse, but others foreshadowing the eroticization of female autonomy. Throughout, Kennedy keeps popular culture and local institutional practice in play with an array of