Invariably invoked in gender studies, such fundamental terms and concepts as sexual difference, masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood, as well as patriarchy, teem with complexities and ambiguities. Gender as a category in feminist psychoanalytic discourse grew out of a series of debates about how and where to formulate the problem of cultural construction. Do cultural socialisation and the internalisation of norms determine gender? Is gender part of a linguistic network that precedes and structures the formation of the ego and the linguistic subject? After approximately four decades of feminist and gender scholarship, the competing answers outnumber the repeated questions in the lively multi-vocal debate that shows no sign of abating.
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