Gender and history
in Historiography
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Gender history presents gender identities, of both men and women, as cultural and social constructs, as, in other words, bundles of meanings usually embodied in language. The reference to semiotics is indicative of the influence of postmodernism on gender historians. This chapter notes that gender historians share the broadly oppositional stance of Women's History. Denise Riley argues that her interest in the gender construction of women flows from her belief that language is the location of women's oppression. The chapter cites some gender historians who viewed gender identities as expressions of social change within a wider society, that, to put it another way, such changes were the product of processes within a wider, external world. It also argues that women will logically continue to grapple with the past and out of that situation will come conflicting interpretations.


An introduction


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