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Publisher's Summary

One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past 50 years, Judith Butler's Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial. Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, "essential" notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category "woman" and continues in this vein with examinations of "the masculine" and "the feminine." 

Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler's concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality. Thrilling and provocative, few other academic works have roused passions to the same extent.

©2006 Routledge (P)2018 Tantor

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What listeners say about Gender Trouble

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Been wanting for a long time to read Gender Trouble

...but I’m much better at listening than reading. I’ve been hoping Gender Trouble would come out in audio for about 7 years, after trying several times to struggle through print.

Lots of people say the language is difficult. And sure: it’s a book a lot about philosophy. I’ve had to listen through several times, but I find the narration makes it pretty easy. And I feel grateful to finally have the chance to encounter Butler’s words and powerful perspectives.

The one suggestion I would make to audible: please cut it into smaller chunks. The audio is cut into 9 sections, the first 4 mapping to the two prefaces and starts of the first two chapters, and the final 5 mapping to some place in the middle of chapter 2, the starts of chapter 3, ch 3 section 3, ch 3 section 4, and the conclusion. I found it helpful to listen to each section multiple times before moving on, but difficult to do so, given audible’s large audio chunks. It might benefit listeners to cut along each section of a chapter, instead of doing so only at the end.

Please keep ‘em coming, Tantor!

15 people found this helpful

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Difficult and Confusing read but interesting

I am not a gender studies mayor and thus didn't know many of the works she was responding to and this along with here academic language made the book very difficult for me to understand. a lot of interesting ideas but I felt like I lacked a complete understanding of the text. but I really like her response to foucault and love loved the idea of gender as performance. I am not homosexual nor female but I'd imagine this book would mean more for those folks

4 people found this helpful

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Essential theory

I am delighted by how many excellent theoretical works Audible has produced this year. It lets me read a little outside my field, painlessly.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully Logical

Butler is thorough in her exploration of gender and this book has the essence of why gender is so complex. Takes only about 10 or 20 listens to put it all together. Admittedly, she could simplify the idea but I think that would take away from the central reality that the grammar of gender is NOT at all simple and the language Butler uses to get this across to readers drives the point.

Loved the book and feel it should be a required text for every college student of our age. Hopefully, in the future, high school students will be able to tackle it with ease. (Perhaps I'm too hopeful.)

6 people found this helpful

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Too fast!

Ok you can adjust the speed but I just don’t know what’s the rush about? It’s Judith Butler! Slow down!

1 person found this helpful

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Identity opportunism is trash

The least scientific explanation of gender ever. This woman is an opportunist and an anti-communist. She wrote an entire book filled with her own speculation and subjectivist viewpoint. Don’t listen to or read this crap. Go listen to “society and social change” by marx

5 people found this helpful

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  • cloudspotter
  • 01-04-19

An absolute classic let down in its performance

I was very excited to listen to this seminal text by Butler, an erudite writer whom I follow with a passion. However, no matter how much I try I cannot get on with the performance of this text - the reading is frequently monotone and lacks appropriate intonation for an English reader, it makes this an incredibly difficult audio book to engage with.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-18

Difficult to follow

You need to have engaged with academic theories of sexuality and gender to understand this text. Though I have done this, I still struggled to follow this text and felt it was unnecessarily difficult to follow. I found the narration jarring and too fast.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-07-18

Incomprehensible

To be fair to this book, it deals with some complex ideas and difficult concepts so it might be that it was just beyond me. It's also possible that I was unfairly expecting it to be something else.

However, I don't think I could actually tell you what most of the points Butler makes in this book are (let alone how she supports them). The writing is dense and unyielding and (in my opinion) relies on unnecessarily complex constructions.

The book itself is also mainly a textual survey of how other writers ideas can be viewed. Although there is an attempt at synthesis there's no real sense of cultural, social or historical context.

Some ideas were interesting but it was frustrating not to be able to fully follow her arguments and (because of the book's age) aren't as ground-breaking as they might have been when published.

I didn't get a lot out of this but if you're interested in gender there's not a lot to choose from on Amazon.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alejandro
  • 10-14-18

Pure nonsense

This post modernist and ambiguous approach to gender is one of the most excruciating books I've ever encountered. Only one in a deep, deep echo chamber could agree with most of what is said here

5 people found this helpful

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  • Quaile
  • 10-15-21

Interesting but bloody confusing

I enjoyed the couple of chapters I could make out, but the vast majority is written as if to dissuade its own comprehension. If you can sit through reading written books then it’d probably make more sense like that when you are able to go back over things more easily.

Overall you’d be better to learn about Butler’s ideas from a secondary source as their writing is practically unintelligible most of the time.

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  • Roberta Keys
  • 09-05-20

Heavy

I didn’t overly enjoy this book at all. I find it extremely heavy and really difficult to understand in parts.

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  • enzo
  • 04-29-19

amazing performance

Given the illegible text the reader was heroic. Lots of interesting ideas elucidated. the epistemology hinges on ' if Simone DB is correct in saying x, then y and z is true.' Sadly lots of empirical evidence to show that gender is made up of both socially constructed and biological factors, but that's just the constructionalist in me ;-)

1 person found this helpful