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Title: Homeless at Home: Feminist Redefinitions of Culture and Subjectivity in Shirley Geok-Lim’s Novels
Authors: Nicola Loh Sijin
Issue Date: 13-Nov-2017
Citation: Nicola Loh Sijin (2017-11-13). Homeless at Home: Feminist Redefinitions of Culture and Subjectivity in Shirley Geok-Lim’s Novels. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The rigid cultural binaries that were drawn between "Western" and "Non- Western" cultures during colonialism create essential understandings of culture. The perpetuation of these binaries leave no room for the articulation of alternative, hybrid subjectivities that emerge in the interaction of cultures. This problem is of particular significance to Asian women, who are marginalized within their home cultures because of their sex, and in Western discourse because of both their race and sex. In this thesis, I argue that culture must be radically reinterpreted to create space for the expression of female subjectivity, although the influence of one's cultural upbringing on the process of subject formation cannot be ignored. The recognition of alternative subjectivities that deviate from dominant cultural narratives signifies the potential for the more ethical intersubjective relationships between women, and between individuals of different cultures in multicultural societies. However, the attainability of such ethical ideals remains questionable in both the texts and a practical context. I will examine the complicated nature of subject formation with specific reference to the experiences of Malaysian-Chinese women in Shirley Geok-lin Lim's novels, Joss and Gold (2001) and Sister Swing (2006). This will be done with reference to Homi Bhabha's theory of hybridity and the Third Space, and Rosi Braidotti's theory of nomadic feminism, which is heavily influenced by Luce Irigaray.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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