Reclaiming the social: a conversation between feminist, late modern and social capital theories

Franklin, Jane and Thomson, Rachel (2005). Reclaiming the social: a conversation between feminist, late modern and social capital theories. Feminist Theory, 6(2) pp. 161–172.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700105053692

Abstract

Over recent years, the ‘social’ has been reclaimed in different strands of academic debate. In this paper, we facilitate a conversation between three of these strands - feminist theory, late modern sociology and social capital theory - to draw attention to the problematic nature of the claims that social capital theories make for feminist theory and politics. We introduce two papers, by Lisa Adkins and Barbara Misztal, which provide distinct but related responses to the challenge of reclaiming the social. We point to three themes that they have in common, but which they define and respond to differently: the ‘social’ and the public/private divide; politics and the relationship to the world; and the temporality of social theory. We end with our reflections on the importance of this conversation, exploring how realignments in the relationships between theoretical and empirical concerns have the potential to reinvigorate the relationship between feminist theory and politics.

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