Discourses of race, class, gender and sexual identity in the writings of feminist family therapists

Toth, Anna
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University of Guelph

This paper presents a deconstructive reading of recent feminist family therapy literature with regard to constructions of race, class, gender and sexual identity. It answers the following questions: (1) how have feminist family therapists constructed race, class, gender and sexual identity in their recent academic writing? (2) what are the discourses and ideological positions informing these constructions? (3) what is missing from such constructions? and (4) in what ways do these constructions challenge or support social relations of oppression and domination? Four primary discourses were noted: enlightenment discourse, biological discourse, cultural discourse, and discourses of oppression and rule. I argue for a political analysis which integrates race, class, gender and sexual identity, and that focuses on the formation of identity and resistance to oppression. I maintain that feminist family therapy is uniquely positioned to explore both.

deconstructive reading, feminist family therapy literature, constructions, race, class, gender, sexual identity