The Future of Difference: Beyond the Toxic Entanglement of Racism, Sexism and Feminism (Paperback)
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How feminism is used to attack immigration in Europe
In recent years, opponents of 'political correctness' have surged to prominence from both left and right, shaping a discourse in which perpetrators are 'defiantly' imagined as Muslim refugees, i.e. outsiders/others, while victims are identified as 'our women'. This poisonous and regressive situation grounds Hark and Villa's theorisation of contemporary regimes of power as engaged primarily in the violent production of difference. In this moment, they argue, the logic of 'differentiate and rule' thoroughly permeates the social; our entire 'way of life' is premised on endless subtle hierarchical distinctions, which determine whole populations' attitudes, feelings and actions.
How can learn to value difference, sabotaging all attempts to enlist difference in the service of domination? Hark and Villa make a compelling case for the urgent necessity for a detoxification of feminism as a matter of urgency; and for an ethical mode of living-with the world, that is, living with alterity.
About the Author
Sabine Hark is a German feminist and sociologist. She is Professor of Interdisciplinary Women and Gender Research at the Technical University of Berlin.
Paula-Irene Villa is Professor and Chair for Sociology and Gender Studies at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Sophie Lewis is a theorist, critic and translator. She is the translator of Communism for Kids by Bini Adamczak (with Jacob Blumenfeld) and A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp and the author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family.
“The Future of Difference offers a powerful indictment of the ways mainstream feminism has been coopted by ethnonationalists to promote Europe’s increasingly punitive border regime. Hark and Villa offer a thorough, impassioned analysis of the dire consequences of combating sexual violence without an intersectional lens. An urgent book for our times.”
—Arlene Stein, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University
“This is an outstanding, timely and courageous work of feminist scholarship. The book extends and renews the important writing of Stuart Hall in his 1978 Policing the Crisis. This excellent translation will ensure the book by Sabine Hark and Paula-Irene Villa will be a major contribution to multiple disciplines.”
—Angela McRobbie, Professor, Goldsmiths University London and author of Feminism and the Politics of Resilience
“In this breathtaking text, two of Germany’s leading feminist thinkers address some of the biggest questions of our time. In the face of unprecedented global migration, large scale anti-sexual violence movements, and a simultaneous right-wing backlash against feminism, Hark and Villa ask us to consider anew the political question of cultural difference. Based upon their in-depth analysis of the entanglements between sexism, (racist) feminism, and anti-gender ideologies in Europe and beyond over the past decade, the authors propose a ‘grammar of coexistence of the different’ that engages in the ‘art of encountering others without erasing their otherness.’ Reading this text as I do in the midst of a global pandemic, Hark and Villa’s book offers invaluable reflections on ethical coexistence at times of great global precarity.”
—Dr. Susanne Luhmann