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politicizing biographies: the forming of transnational subjectivities as insiders outside

  • Diana Mulinari
  • Nora Räthzel
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 89-112
Publication/Series: Feminist Review
Issue: 86
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract english

We take our own life stories as points of departure to look at some of the ways in which women were politicized in Argentina and West Germany (our respective countries of origin), focusing on similarities as well as differences in our politicization processes. We aim at putting present discussions about global political movements into a historical perspective. We want also to illuminate the centrality of political identities in the construction of specific (gendered) subjectivities. Our focus lies on theorizing the ways through which privileged (gendered) identities critically re-read their own position and transform their own understanding of themselves and the world through the field of the political. Methodologically, we want to contribute to ways of re-thinking Feminist methodologies by experimenting with a form of analysis in which we are alternately the subject and the object of our research process. The aim of this intervention is to transgress the binary oppositions between researcher/researched and challenge traditional understanding of social science where researchers provide analysis and informants have 'experience'. One of our conclusions is that the 68 movement provided subject positions for living alternative normalities as an 'insider-outside', that is, for those who belonged to normalized groups in their respective societies, but for different reasons (of which we analyse some concerning our formation as 'women') could not identify with the dominant normalities offered to them. At the same time, the dominant male instrumentality of the movement estranged (some) women and allowed them (or forced them into) a kind of distanced engagement that, perhaps paradoxically, provided a basis for sustaining their political subjectivities through transformative experiences of defeat.


  • Gender Studies
  • gender
  • insider-outside
  • 68 generation
  • political subjectivities
  • life stories
  • methodology


  • ISSN: 0141-7789
Diana Mulinari
E-mail: diana [dot] mulinari [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se


Department of Gender Studies

+46 46 222 97 04


Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
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Faculty of Social Sciences