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happen to cultural theory and feminism if psychoanalytic theory turned out not merely misguided but false.

Identity Theory: move into postmodernism.

Identity theory made its appearance in the 80s, theoretically prefigured by the pivotal role of experience, almost an extreme form of empiricism, in radical feminism, the left turn to psychoanalytic Marxism in the 70s and French literary criticism. The 1980s saw a tremendous change in the political culture of the Britain, including what has been described as the demise of feminism as a political force, and I am only concerned here with the UK, the US has its own internal dynamics. There was an intricate and complicated relationship between the rise of Thatcherism, ‘free market’ fiscal policy, left disunity, the demise of feminism as a political force, the appearance of identity politics and theory focusing, almost exclusively on the issue of identity. It has been suggested that what distinguishes and shapes British feminism is its roots in the high levels of working class action in the 60s and 70s (Rowbotham, 1990). And during the 80s, with a number of extremely important exceptions, including the Miner’s Strike and anti-Section 28 demonstrations, there was a general decline in trade union and labour activity. A contributory factor, in the political demise of feminism, was the tensions within the Women’s Liberation Movement that had been brewing for over a decade. Conflicts between radical and socialist feminists, between middle class and working class feminists, between black feminists and white feminists, heterosexual and lesbian feminists were played out in local organisations, at conferences and through various editorial boards. These conflicts forced feminists into recognising their own location and acknowledging the universalising tendencies within feminist thought itself. It was no longer feasible to argue that just because an individual had a certain sexed body s/he ought to align with a particular political movement and the goals of feminism as a political movement became

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