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Origin Stories in Political Thought

Discourses on Gender, Power, and Citizenship

by Joanne H. Wright

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history & theory, feminism & feminist theory
list price: $73.00
also available: eBook
published: 2004

Origin stories are a recurring motif in the history of political thought. Presented as narratives that describe the beginnings of politics and power, these stories are among the most provocative and politically contentious means by which Western society organizes and represents its experience. Indeed, as scripts of citizenship, origin stories seek to manufacture consent to a preconceived - and hierarchical - political vision.

Joanne H. Wright's Origin Stories in Political Thought examines Plato's Timaeus, Hobbes's story of the state of nature and the social contract, and early Second Wave feminist stories about the beginnings of patriarchal social relations. Using a historically sensitive, feminist methodology, Wright documents and deconstructs the tradition of telling origin stories in the larger history of political thought.

Although individual tales have been assessed in current scholarship, the motif of the origin story itself has, until now, escaped systematic analysis. With meticulous research and convincing conclusions, Origin Stories in Political Thought makes a groundbreaking and valuable contribution to both feminist and political studies.

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About the Author

Joanne H. Wright

Joanne H. Wright is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick.
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