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Abject/Abjection

The Abject is a psychoanalytical concept created by Julia Kristeva (b.1941). It refers to that which is rejected by, or disturbs, social reason. This includes bodily acts and functions deemed transgressive, unclean, or impure. The literal meaning of the term abjection is "the state of being cast off". From Kristeva's psychoanalytic perspective it also describes the process of casting off the mother figure, in order to construct an independent identity. By extension, within contemporary critical theory, and especially within Feminist and Queer Theory, abjection is often used to describe wider processes of exclusion. The woman for example must be excluded in order to construct a patriarchal society and the homosexual must be excluded in order to create a society that is heteronormative.

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