Women\u2019s agency: Is it a matter of an individual\u2019s capacity for autonomy? Or of the social conditions that facilitate freedom? Combining theoretical and empirical perspectives, Carisa R. Showden investigates what exactly makes an agent and how that agency influences the ways women make inherently sensitive and difficult choices-specifically in instances of domestic violence, assisted reproduction, and sex work. In Showden\u2019s analysis, women\u2019s agency emerges as an individual and social construct, rooted in concrete experience, complex and changing over time. She traces the development and deployment of agency, illustrating how it plays out in the messy workings of imperfect lives. In a series of case studies, she considers women within situations of intimate partner violence, reproductive decision making, and sex work such as prostitution and pornography. Each narrative offers insight into how women articulate their self-understanding and political needs in relation to the pressures they confront. Showden\u2019s understanding of women\u2019s agency ultimately leads her to review possible policy and legal interventions that could improve the conditions within which agency develops and that could positively enhance women\u2019s ability to increase and exercise their political and personal options.
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 25 mm
"Choices Women Make is one of the best treatments of agency and its relation to women and feminism that I have seen. It is a superb book." -Kathryn Abrams, University of California, Berkeley
"In this work Carisa R. Showden accomplishes an unusual feat for a political theorist: combining theoretical and empirical analyses. By interweaving both elements she is able to present a distinctive and persuasive argument." -Susan Hekman, University of Texas, Arlington