Women and the Structure of Society - Barbara J Harris

Women and the Structure of Society - Barbara J Harris

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Every culture uses the biological difference be tween women and men to classify individuals and assign them social roles. Throughout hu man history, men have had far greater power than women to name, classify, and order the worlds in which they both live. As a result, women frequently find themselves in the pain ful position of trying to conform to life-cycle patterns and roles that often may not reflect their own talents and inclinations. If they fail in these roles, or refuse them, they are frequently relegated to the margins of a society that cannot recognize their existence

Drawn from papers presented at the Fifth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Women and the Structure of Society examines the his tory of women in the context of the complex ways in which women have accommodated, manipulated, modified, and rejected the structure that ignored or oppressed them. The contributors draw from various cultures and historical epochs, describing a realm of heretofore neglected experience and identifying-for the first time in many cases-what it has meant to be a woman in societies governed mainly by men

 

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