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Hakim Revisited: Preference, Choice and the Postfeminist Gender Regime

Lewis, Patricia, Simpson, Ruth (2016) Hakim Revisited: Preference, Choice and the Postfeminist Gender Regime. Gender Work and Organization, 24 (2). pp. 115-133. ISSN 0968-6673. E-ISSN 1468-0432. (doi:10.1111/gwao.12150) (KAR id:56720)

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We revisit Hakim’s influential preference theory to demonstrate how it is both reflective of postfeminism and generative of its values and practices. We differentiate between two interpretations of postfeminism – first a surface level “successful but obsolete” version articulated by Hakim and a second, multi-layered account of postfeminism as a discursive formation connected to a set of discourses around gender, feminism and femininity. Drawing on this latter version we make visible the embeddedness of postfeminism in preference theory highlighting its connection to the creation of a new postfeminist subjectivity based on an agentic and ‘choosing’ femininity. We show how a consideration of preference theory in terms of the emergence and constitution of “the female chooser”, opens up aspects of Hakim’s thesis which to date have been overlooked. In addition, our postfeminist reading of preference theory draws out aspects of Hakim’s account which she herself understated. Specifically, within a contemporary context where equivalent priority is afforded to wage-work and care work, it is Hakim’s ‘adaptive’ woman who exemplifies the new postfeminist subject required to perform well simultaneously in both the work and domestic domains.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/gwao.12150
Uncontrolled keywords: postfeminism, preference theory, choice, new choosing femininity.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Depositing User: Patricia Lewis
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 14:46 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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