Patriarchal Precedents : Sexuality and Social Relations book cover
1st Edition

Patriarchal Precedents
Sexuality and Social Relations

ISBN 9781032356297
Published November 30, 2022 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1983, Patriarchal Precedents is an excavation of the term patriarchy. Rosalind Coward shoes how the debates about patriarchy and matriarchy were crucial to social theories in the nineteenth century, discussing how the resolution of these debates resulted in our present ways of (mis)understanding the family, sexual relations and sexual characteristics. Rosalind Coward argues that the violent debates around patriarchy tell a salutary tale about how the term presupposed as much as it set out to explain. She demonstrates how it was used in Marxism and psychoanalysis in ways which blocked any radical thinking about sexual relations, and how the arguments against the term patriarchy within anthropology still have to be taken seriously. She argues that in order to advance our understanding of how power is exercised in sexual relations, of the place which sexual relations have within society and the construction of sexual characteristics, a series of presuppositions about sexual relations must now be cleared away. This book will be of interest to students of gender studies, women's studies, sexuality, men' s studies, sociology and anthropology.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The dissolution of the patriarchal theory 2. The meaning of mother-right 3. Sexual antagonism: theories of sex in the social sciences 4. The impasse on kinship 5. The concept of family in Marxist theory 6. The woman question and the early Marxist left 7. The patriarchal family in Freudian theory 8. Psychoanalysis and anthropology: the interpretation of social practices Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

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Rosalind Coward