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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?
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, and what are the different ways in which we can approach an understanding of the self? Nick Mansfield explores how our notions of subjectivity have developed over the past century. Analyzing the work of key modern and postmodern theorists such as Freud, Foucault, Nietzsche, Lacan, Kristeva, Deleuze and Guattari, and Haraway, he shows how subjectivity is central to debates in contemporary culture, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, postmodernism, and technology.
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 and author of Masochism: The Art of Power.
"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." --Simon During, University of Melbourne "Effortlessly and with humor and passion, Mansfield offers the reader a telling, trenchantly articulated account of the complex enigma of the self. With its graceful movements between disciplines, ideas, and areas of interest, Subjectivity deserves to become a benchmark for all such student introductions." --Julian Wolfreys, University of Florida