Okin and the Challenge of Essentialism

Alison M. Jaggar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter examines Okin's engagement with feminists who found her theories essentialist, in particular, expressing the norms of dominant populations in her work and focusing on heterosexual and privileged families. This chapter looks at Okin's response to those criticisms and the evolution of her work over time to become more inclusive. This chapter argues that this evolution demonstrates the benefits of the essentialism debate for feminist studies, despite its frequent sharpness and painfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationToward a Humanist Justice: The Political Philosophy of Susan Moller Okin
PublisherSIPRI/Oxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199868681
ISBN (Print)9780195337396
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Bias
  • Essentialism
  • Feminist method
  • Multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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