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Silencing the single woman: negotiating the ‘failed’ feminine subject in contemporary UK society

Gilchrist, Kate ORCID: 0000-0003-1316-3493 (2021) Silencing the single woman: negotiating the ‘failed’ feminine subject in contemporary UK society. Sexualities. ISSN 1363-4607

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Identification Number: 10.1177/13634607211041100

Abstract

Despite a growth in single women in UK society over the past two decades, single femininity continues to be highly stigmatised. Drawing on Judith Butler’s theory of the heterosexual matrix and applying this to qualitative interview data with 25 single women, I argue that single femininity is produced as abject through processes of silencing which render the single female a ‘failed’ subject and reinscribe heteronormative coupled femininity. Yet while deeply painful, such ‘failures’ may also be productive, offering moments where the boundaries of heteronormative feminine subjectivity and hierarchies of intimate life are troubled and transformed. This article complicates understandings of stigma and resistance through a nuanced analysis of processes of abjectification and ambivalence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/sex
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 11:21
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 01:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111569

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