Promising alliances: The critical feminist theory of nancy fraser and seyla benhabib

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This essay examines the work of Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib, two philosopher who have demonstrated that feminist theorists can usefully draw upon botl postmodernism and the critical theory tradition, with which Fraser and Benhabib ar more clearly associated. I argue that each theorist claims the universal ideals an normative judgements of modernism, and the contextualism, particularity, an skepticism of postmodernism. I do this by revisiting each of their positions in the now well-known Feminist Contentions exchange, by examining the diverse ways in whicl they reconcile universalism and difference, and by exploring each theorist’s critique o the Habermasian public sphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-69
Number of pages20
JournalFeminist Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Critical theory
  • Postmodernism
  • Public sphere
  • Subjectivity
  • Universalism


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