Adorno, Foucault, and Feminist Theory: The Politics of Truth

Chapter 7: "Adorno, Foucault, and Feminist Theory: The Politics of Truth." By Lambert Zuidervaart. In Feminism and the Early Frankfurt SchoolStudies in Critical Social Sciences series, Vol. 271. Edited by Christine A. Payne & Jeremiah Morelock. Leiden: Brill, 2024. 133–161.


Available at: Brill online.


Volume Overview:

The early Frankfurt School and feminism can and should inform each other. This volume presents an original collection of scholarship bringing together scholars of the Frankfurt School and feminist scholars. Essays included in the volume explore ideas from the early Frankfurt School that were explicitly focused on sex, gender, and sexuality, and bring ideas from the early Frankfurt School into productive dialogue with historical and contemporary feminist theory. Ranging across philosophy, sociology, gender and sexuality studies, science studies, and cultural studies, the essays investigate heteropatriarchy, essentialism, identity, intersectional feminism, and liberation. Set against an alarming context of growing gender and related forms of authoritarianism, this timely volume demonstrates the necessity of thinking these powerhouse approaches together in a united front.  


Chapter Opening:

"So far as we know, Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Michel Foucault (1926–1984) never met. Nor, for the most part, did they read each other’s work. Yet their critiques of Western society are strikingly similar—so similar, in fact, that they have drawn comparable criticisms from J├╝rgen Habermas and Axel Honneth. They have also received analogous defenses from feminist Critical Theorists, such as Amy Allen and Deborah Cook, who challenge Habermas and Honneth’s criticisms." [continue reading]