Margaret Fuller's challenge to gender identity

Foulds, Charley (2016) Margaret Fuller's challenge to gender identity. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The philosophy of Margaret Fuller challenged the sacredness of the cult of domesticity. This social construct had entrenched social subordination of the woman, thereby restricting her of individual identity. Antebellum notions of gender identity was embedded with prejudice and gender-essentialism. Through challenging antebellum social notions of gender identity, Fuller persevered in enlightening women to their sufferings and subordination to men. Fuller’s developing trajectory is crucial in understanding the origins of the suffrage campaign, for she had created the philosophical foundation which inspired later advocates. Her manifesto, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1842), defined her revolutionary ideas. The significance of this dissertation to historical development in this area of research, will be in its exploration of Fuller’s developing ideas on the benevolence of women through key chronological periods; starting with her unique education and then her work within the Transcendental Movement. Throughout her life, Fuller’s ideas evolved around the philosophic principle of self-transcendence. This meant that the individual must know how to transcend their soul into the divine and so leading a more enriching existence. Fuller ascertained self-transcendence with the belief of the woman’s ability to defy gender prejudices and transcend social barriers. Through three chapters, this study will explore Fuller’s ideology. The uniqueness of her philosophy will be studied through a range of primary and secondary readings. Importantly, analysis of Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1842), will be central to understanding Fuller’s challenge to gender identity. This dissertation will conclude on the importance of Fuller for American and international philosophical memory.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 12:57
    Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 12:57

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