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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The invisible woman : a feminist critique of Habermas's theory of communicative action Travers, Ann


Feminist theory is a vast area of discourse and, while the differences between the many tendencies are extremely interesting, it is beyond the scope of this thesis to engage in such an inquiry. I have chosen to conduct a critique of Habermas's theory of communicative action from a perspective informed for the most part by postmodern/poststructural feminism. I hope that my reasons for working within such a framework will become evident in the following chapters but, in my view, a postmodern/poststructural feminist perspective sharpens the critique of Habermas's theory precisely because it stands in such contrast to it. For the purposes of this thesis, my critique will focus upon Habermas's most recent work - The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume I: Reason and the Rationalization of Society (1984), and Volume II: The Critique of Functionalist Reason (1987). Other works by Habermas will not be specifically addressed although references will be made to them as necessary to clarify his positions on various issues.

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