What's wrong with Essentialism?

  title={What's wrong with Essentialism?},
  author={Anne Phillips},
  journal={Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory},
  pages={47 - 60}
  • Anne Phillips
  • Published 1 January 2010
  • Psychology
  • Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory
This paper identifies and discusses four distinct meanings of essentialism. The first is the attribution of certain characteristics to everyone subsumed within a particular category: the ‘(all) women are caring and empathetic’, ‘(all) Africans have rhythm’, ‘(all) Asians are community oriented’ syndrome. The second is the attribution of those characteristics to the category, in ways that naturalise or reify what may be socially created or constructed. The third is the invocation of a… 
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