GENDER AND CLASS REVISITED - OR, THE POVERTY OF PATRIARCHY

Authors
Citation
A. Pollert, GENDER AND CLASS REVISITED - OR, THE POVERTY OF PATRIARCHY, Sociology, 30(4), 1996, pp. 639-659
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology
Journal title
ISSN journal
0038-0385
Volume
30
Issue
4
Year of publication
1996
Pages
639 - 659
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-0385(1996)30:4<639:GACR-O>2.0.ZU;2-0
Abstract
This paper examines the concept of 'patriarchy' as a tool for analysin g gender inequality, while signalling the problems which arise from a common confusion between its use as short-hand description and as expl anation. It first enters a substantive critique of a theory of 'patria rchy', highlighting its reductionism and circularity. It then broadens to the form of abstract structuralist theorisation used, and its flat tening and mechanistic effect on analysis. As an alternative to a dual ist approach to 'structures of' capitalism as 'patriarchy', it argues that gendering needs to be understood as integral to all social relati ons at the start. To unravel the mediations of this intermeshing, theo ry, rather than being abstract, needs to be embedded in the substantiv e empirical analysis of social process which might be called feminist historical materialism. The discussion finally considers why it is tha t a 'grand narrative' of 'patriarchy' survives amid the fashion of pos t-structuralist fragmentation, pointing to theoretical continuities of self-enclosed theorisation in abstract structuralism and in post-mode rnist sociology, as one dimension of explanation.