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Gender and social reproduction: historical perspectives.
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Gender and social reproduction: historical perspectives.

Author: B Laslett; J Brenner
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Annual review of sociology, 1989; 15: 381-404
Database:From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Summary:
It is argued that gender relations and social reproduction were both shaped by macrohistorical processes and shaped the processes. Social reproduction is defined within feminist theory as more than production in the Marxist sense. Societal reproduction is a combination of the organization of production, the organization of social reproduction, the perpetuation of gender, and the continuation of class relations.  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: B Laslett; J Brenner
ISSN:0360-0572
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 116256205
Notes: TJ: ANNUAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY
Awards:

Abstract:

It is argued that gender relations and social reproduction were both shaped by macrohistorical processes and shaped the processes. Social reproduction is defined within feminist theory as more than production in the Marxist sense. Societal reproduction is a combination of the organization of production, the organization of social reproduction, the perpetuation of gender, and the continuation of class relations. Social reproduction includes the care and socialization of children and care of the elderly or infirm. Social reproduction includes the organization of sexuality, biological reproduction, and how food, clothing, and shelter are made available. Most social reproduction occurs within the family unit. It is pointed out that variations in the distribution of the work of social reproduction are affected by the family, market, community, and state. The ways in which women construct their own worlds of activity is a central concern. The feminist concept of social reproduction differs from modernization theory, which is concerned with the institutional location of the tasks of social reproduction and the structural effects on the family and gender relations. This literature review focuses only on the history of family strategies and separate gender-related activities. The authors describe the changes in family organization that define men as income producers and women as caretakers, who base child rearing on love and feminine virtue rather than patriarchal authority and religious doctrine. The discussion focuses on the differences in marital relationships, motherhood, and sexuality between upper and middle class and working class women in the 19th century. Among working class women, a good wife was an efficient manager, a skilled domestic worker, and an income earner. The turn of the century was a period of social change marked by smaller average family size, the decline of household production, the rise in real wages, and increased consumption. It is argued that new developments in gender relations are due to sex as well as economics and the institutionalization of these changes results in constraints and opportunities for women. It is argued that gender relations and social reproduction were both shaped by macrohistorical processes and shaped the processes. Social reproduction is defined within feminist theory as more than production in the Marxist sense. Societal reproduction is a combination of the organization of production, the organization of social reproduction, the perpetuation of gender, and the continuation of class relations. Social reproduction includes the care and socialization of children and care of the elderly or infirm. Social reproduction includes the organization of sexuality, biological reproduction, and how food, clothing, and shelter are made available. Most social reproduction occurs within the family unit. It is pointed out that variations in the distribution of the work of social reproduction are affected by the family, market, community, and state. The ways in which women construct their own worlds of activity is a central concern. The feminist concept of social reproduction differs from modernization theory, which is concerned with the institutional location of the tasks of social reproduction and the structural effects on the family and gender relations. This literature review focuses only on the history of family strategies and separate gender-related activities. The authors describe the changes in family organization that define men as income producers and women as caretakers, who base child rearing on love and feminine virtue rather than patriarchal authority and religious doctrine. The discussion focuses on the differences in marital relationships, motherhood, and sexuality between upper and middle class and working class women in the 19th century. Among working class women, a good wife was an efficient manager, a skilled domestic worker, and an income earner. The turn of the century was a period of social change marked by smaller average family size, the decline of household production, the rise in real wages, and increased consumption. It is argued that new developments in gender relations are due to sex as well as economics and the institutionalization of these changes results in constraints and opportunities for women.

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