From Sex Objects to Sexual Subjects traces some of the ruptures and continuities between the eighteenth-century masculinist formulations of subjectivity elaborated by Rousseau, Diderot and Kant and the contemporary postmodern and feminist critiques of the universal subject--meaning the self viewed as an abstract individual who exercises an impartial and rational (political) judgment that is idential to other similarly defined individuals--developed by Luce Irigaray, Francois Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas, Nancy Fraser, Judith Butler and Michel Foucault.
In her work, Moscovici brings together the wide-ranging discussion of subjectivity with debates about public discourse. In so doing she attempts a synthesis between the two discussions that have recently engaged feminist theorists and others.
"There are no spare words in this refreshingly clear study of the subject engendered, as citizen, and as female identity in her socio-political interrelationships. While the weight of postmodernism and gender studies underpin the analysis, making prior knowledge of the arguments against which Claudia Moscovici is working desirable, the book will none the less clarify the complexities of debates that are deconstruction's legacy. Not least of these is the problem of the abolutization of differences that makes all differences relativized... Such an agenda cannot but provoke debate and, for feminist scholarship, is an important brief for the next decade." -- Mary Orr, Modern Language Review