Feminism and the Power of Love : Interdisciplinary Interventions book cover
1st Edition

Feminism and the Power of Love
Interdisciplinary Interventions

ISBN 9781138710054
Published April 11, 2018 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

The power of love has become a renewed matter of feminist and non-feminist attention in the 21st century’s theory debates. What is this power? Is it a form of domination? Or is it a liberating force in our contemporary societies?

Within Feminism and the Power of Love lies the central argument that, although love is a crucial site of gendered power asymmetries, it is also a vital source of human empowerment that we cannot live without. Instead of emphasizing "either-or", this enlightening title puts the dualities and contradictions of love center stage. Indeed, by offering various theoretical perspectives on what makes love such a central value and motivator for people, this title will increase one’s understanding as to why love can keep people in its grip - even when practiced in ways that deplete and oppress. In light of such analyses, the contributions within Feminism and the Power of Love present new perspectives on the conditions and characteristics of non-oppressive, mutually enhancing ways of loving.

Bridging the gap between Feminist Affect Studies and Feminist Love Studies, this book will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, including postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as women’s and gender studies, sociology, political science, philosophy, cultural studies and sexuality studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

The Power of Love: Towards an Interdisciplinary and Multi-Theoretical Feminist Love Studies

Lena Gunnarsson, Adriana García-Andrade, and Anna G. Jónasdóttir


Chapter 2

The Difference that Love (Power) Makes

Anna G. Jónasdóttir

Chapter 3

Alienation in Love: Is Mutual Love the Solution?

Ann Ferguson

Chapter 4

What Has Happened to the Feminist Critique of Romantic Love in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate?

Renata Grossi


Chapter 5

Love as Affective Energy: Where Feminist Love Studies Meets Feminist Affect Theory

Margaret E. Toye

Chapter 6

From Murderous Love to Worldly Love? Affect Theory, Violence against Women, and the Materiality of Love

Kathleen B. Jones


Chapter 7

Feminist Visions and Socio-Political Meanings of Non-Monogamous Love

Justyna Szachowicz Sempruch

Chapter 8

The Invisible Ties We Share: A Relational Analysis of the Contemporary Loving Couple

Adriana García-Andrade and Olga Sabido-Ramos

Chapter 9

Silent Love: On Irigaray’s Suggestion of Cultivating Sexual Difference

Silvia Stoller

Chapter 10

Love, Feminism, and Dialectics: Repairing Splits in Theory and Practice

Lena Gunnarsson

Notes on Contributors


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Adriana García-Andrade is Professor at the Department of Sociology, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), México

Lena Gunnarsson is a Postdoctoral fellow at Department of Gender Studies, Lund University, Sweden

Anna G. Jónasdóttir is Senior Professor at Örebro University, Sweden


Feminism and the Power of Love is a crucial addition to the rapidly expanding field of Love Studies. Too few books tackle the problematic status of 'love' in feminist theory, but even fewer address the central theme of this book, namely the tension between two indisputable facts: love plays and replays sex and gender relationships of power; but it is also a vital source of human enhancement and energy. Understanding this tension through a variety of disciplines and methodological lenses, this book represents an important advance of feminist theory.

Professor Eva Illouz, author of Why Love Hurts

Politics, economy, revolution, history: what's love got to do with these? Everything, or so the provocative essays collected in Feminism and the Power of Love claim. Whether you find love a distinctly patriarchal invention or a necessary affect for utopian transformations, the conversations arrayed here will convince you of the value of love studies for contemporary feminist theory.

Professor Robyn Wiegman, Duke University

The contribution that Feminism and the Power of Love has been making to the wider field of Love Studies has been transformative. The contributors to this book look critically at love as a site where emotional and reproductive labor are distributed unequally – whilst acknowledging the crucial function of loving care in human bonding. This approach throws a much needed light on the complexity of love as a manifestation of interconnected desires, emotions, social relations and cultural modes of expression. If you are interested in intimacy, love or relationships you will find this book indispensable for your study and research whether you agree with its premises and outcome or not.

Professor Michael Gratzke, Hull University, Convener of the Love Research Network

What might be cutting-edge concepts of love? Transformative intimacies? Anti-ownership possibilities? Non-oppressive bonds? Feminism and the Power of Love breaks new grounds as it introduces feminist love studies, arguing that while love is an intimate affair, it also has a huge influence on public and political life. Showcasing creative energies and diverse methodologies, the volume historicizes love, teases out the contradictions of love, and calls on feminist theorists to shape the field of love studies.

Katarzyna Marciniak, Ohio University