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New Left Review I/184, November-December 1990


Jane Jenson

Different but Not Exceptional: The Feminism of Permeable Fordism

This article does not take the usual form of a political or academic intervention. It is an essay in intellectual autobiography. Such an effort is, of course, different from the history of ideas—the recounting of ‘debates’ and descriptions of other theorists’ trajectories—which constitutes one of the staples of social-science writing. The task of writing intellectual autobiography, at least for me, was a difficult, even a frightening one. It calls for distance and the need to be ‘self’ reflective—requirements quite different from other sorts of writing. The origins of this for-me-unusual project were as follows. I am a member of the editorial collective of the Canadian journal Studies in Political Economy. In the context of discussing a special issue on ‘Feminism and Political Economy’, [1] This appeared as issue 30 in Autumn 1989, edited by Pat Armstrong and Pat Connelly. the members of the journal’s Board began to reflect on the ways in which feminist theory and feminist politics had affected our work, particularly that which did not explicitly speak of gender or make use of obviously feminist conceptualizations. The reflections that follow were prompted by that discussion, but then quickly took on a life of their own.

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