Arguing that it is too easy to release postmodernism as just another example of Western intellectual's separation from activism, this essay considers the connection between feminism and postmodernism as a largely anti-Marxist endeavour. The type of post-modern feminist theory that has blossomed, has presented distinct and well-documented challenges. It has destabilised previously secured categories and encouraged theorists to analyse meaning and relationships of power in a way that has called into question unitary, universal concepts and radically opened discussions concerning subjectivity, sex and gender. Taking into consideration postmodernism as a historically-situated occurrence rather than an intellectual abstraction or movement, the author contends that feminists and their allies need the fragmentation of identities not as a cause for celebration or an oppositional strategy, but rather as an effect of oppressive structures that must be analyzed within the context of their historical, political and economic specificity. It is this tension in postmodernism (between what is expressed and its expression between the latent and manifest) and its parallelism in feminist theory that is the interest of the study. It is the contention of the study that feminist postmodernism, like any other system of thought, has internalised contradictions that heightened during the 1980s and are now becoming self-evident.
Key words: Marxist feminism, postmodernism, identity.
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