Normative tensions of contemporary feminism

Pauline Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The following discussion explores dimensions of feminism's ongoing efforts to negotiate split normative claims. It attempts to push through a stalled debate within contemporary feminism by describing it as a mis-recognition of feminism's double-sided normativity. It suggests that an 'either/or' construction of what feminism is about obscures the contribution that each can make to a clarification of the limitations and concealed entailments of the other. This investigation into the normative tensions within contemporary feminism will be illuminated in the second part of the article with reference to Maria Markus's reflections in her major essay 'Decent Society and/or Civil Society?' on the intertwined normativities that form the 'utopian horizon' of modern democracies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalThesis Eleven
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • civil society
  • contemporary feminism
  • Maria Markus
  • modern democracies
  • tension


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