Victims, Gender and Jouissance: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Victims, Gender and Jouissance

1st Edition

By Victoria Grace


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Victimization has a long, cross-cultural history. The status of the victim has been the source of active and stirring controversy in cultural theory, criminology and legal theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis; it is of particular interest within feminist theory. Can the victim relation be refused? Are we all victims? The aim of this book is to analyze the intersection of gender and the victim, and the role of a libidinal enjoyment (jouissance) in knotting this relation. The enduring link between the construct of the victim and the sacrificial processes at its heart reveals something ultimately compelling about sacrifice. Legislating victimization out of existence will fail because the victim relation is central to the very formation of human subjectivity and implicated in the reproduction of social life. Lacanian psychoanalysis is used to interrogate the limits to arguments for resolving the problem of sacrificial violence: from Girard to Bataille, from Butler to Kristeva, from de Sade to Nietzsche. However, without denying the inevitable structuring power of the signifier, only its relentless reversion, or undoing, will expose the myths that sustain it, and create an opening within the social beyond this impasse. Such a break is theorized through a confrontation of Lacan with Baudrillard.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Feminism and the Victim 2. The Birth and Death of the Victim 3. Gender and Sacrificial Violence 4. From Mysticism to de Sade 5. There Are No Victims 6. We Are All Victims 7. Victims, Gender and Jouissance

About the Author

Victoria Grace is Professor of Sociology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Her research interests include Lacanian psychoanalysis, the work of Jean Baudrillard and feminist theory. In addition to numerous published articles and book chapters, books include Baudrillard’s Challenge – A Feminist Reading (Routledge, 2000); Theorizing Sexual Violence (Routledge, 2009), co-edited with Renée Heberle; Baudrillard West of the Dateline (2003), co-edited with Heather Worth and Laurence Simmons.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies