What am I referring to when I say 'I'? This little word is so easy to use in daily life, yet it has become the focus of intense theoretical debate. Where does my sense of self come from? Does it arise spontaneously or is it created by the media or society? Do I really know myself?
This concern with the self, with our subjectivity, is now our main point of reference in Western societies. How has it come to be so important? What are the different ways in which we can approach subjectivity?
Nick Mansfield explores how our understanding of our subjectivity has developed over the past century. He looks at the work of key modern and postmodern theorists, including Freud, Foucault, Nietzsche, Lacan, Kristeva, Deleuze and Guattari, and he shows how subjectivity is central to debates in contemporary culture, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, postmodernism and technology.
'I am who? No topic is more crucial to contemporary cultural theory than subjectivity, and Nick Mansfield has written what has long been lacking-a lucid, smart introduction to work in the field.'
Professor Simon During, University of Melbourne
'Effortlessly and with humour, passion and panache, Mansfield offers the reader a telling, trenchantly articulate d account of the complex enigma of the self, without resorting to reductively simple critical cliches...This book, in its graceful movements between disciplines, ideas, and areas of interest, deserves to become a benchmark for all such student introductions for some time to come.'
Julian Wolfreys, University of Florida
Nick Mansfield is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Critical and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. He is co-author of Cultural Studies and the New Humanities (Oxford 1997) and author of Masochism: The art of power (Praeger 1997).
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 19th August 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin