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A Useful Category of Historical Analysis by Joan W. Scott

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Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis Joan W. Scott The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 5. (Dec., 1986), pp. 1053-1075. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8762%28198612%2991%3A5%3C1053%3AGAUCOH%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z The American Historical Review is currently published by American Historical Association.

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Gender: A Useful Category of
Historical Analysis

\(>AN W. SCOTT
(;endel-. n. a gr-;immatic;il term only. To talk of persons or creatures of'the masculine o r feminine gender-, meaning of the rrlale o r female sex, is either a jocularity (permissible or not according t o context) or a blunder-. (Fo\vler'sDic./iona~y f o .\lod(~rn I.J~lglishI'snge, Oxford. 1940).

THOSEH O \ V ~ C L LCODIFY it ~ I L A N I S ( ; S O F \VOKDS fight a losing battle, for words, \V ) like the ideas and things they are meant to signify, have a history. Neither Oxford dons nor the Academie Franpise have been entirely able to stem the tide, to capture and fix n~eanings free of the play of human invention and imagination. 1Iary Ll'ortley Jlontagu added bite to her witty denunciation "of the fair sex" ("my only consolation for being of that gender has been the assurance of never being nlarried to any one among them") by deliberately misusing the grammatical reference.' Through the ages. people have made figurative allusions by employing tei.111~ evoke traits of'character o r sexuality. For example, the usage gra~n~natical to / in offered by the Ilic.tiotrticcirr clr In lcrng~rc~ . N I I c ( I ~ . \ P 1876 was, "On ne sait d e quel genre il est, s'il est male ou femelle, se dit d'un h o ~ n m e tres-cache, dont on ne connait pas les sentiments."' And (;ladstone made this distinction in 1878: "Athene has nothing of sex except the gender, nothing of the woman except the form."" of hlost recently-too recently to find its wa! into dictionaries or the Enc~clofiedicr llle Sot.ic~1 St.irr1c.r.c-feminists have in a more literal and serious vein begun to use "gender" as a way of referring t o the social organization of the relationship between the sexes. T h e connection to grammar is both explicit and full of unexamined possibilities. Explicit because the grammatical usage involves formal .I-hi\ article is for Eliz,~l)e~ti \Vee(l. \\ l ~ t 'iugl~t lllr hou to t l i i r ~ a b o u ~ r ~ ~ t i a rr ~ dh r o ~ - yIt was hrst o l g e t . 1)1-epar-etifor t i e l i \ e ~ \.II the lrleetir~gof the :11ne1-ican IIi,tc)~-ical.Aasoeiatior~ i r ~Nr\c Y o r l City. m Dccenlbel- 27. 19Xi. I an1 tlerpl\ i;ratc.ful IO Denise Rile!, who sho~veti e how a liis~orianrnight ~ v o r k \\.itti a n d ~ h r o i l i ; theol-\ : ;il\o ~ o , ] a r ~ iDoane.Ja,rnine Ergs\, .Anne S o r t o n , a n d IIarrirt tVhitrheati. t~ ce ,n (:ons~ructionso f (;entiern held at Brown Yniversitv's all nlrn11)el-s of the \ r ~ ~ ~ i r lo i r " ( : u l t ~ ~ r a l 1982-85. S ~ ~ g g r s t i o a n d criticisnls ns I'en~hl-oke( : e n t e ~f o ~I - e a c t ~ i ;inti Kesral-c h O I I TVomrn tir~l-ing . ~~g Stutlies tVork\tiop at the Ne\\ Sctiool t o r Social Krsearch, rspecially tr-om mcnlhers of the Flis~o~-ic;il I r a I , ~ I L I I ~ ~ \ ~ ) I I . 7'ill). ,inti Louise .A. 1 ill\. torced m e to cl,irif\ h e al-gumcnt in important ~ v s.a ~ (:bar-les (.olnlnents t r o n ~ other t ~ - i r ~ antis colleaglirs have al\o been extremrl\ helpful, especiallk thosr of ~d t l i \ ; i l > r ~(;;tlrotti, Ka\ na Kapp, (:hri\tine Stansrll, ;111ciJo;i~iI ~ i ~ i c r ~ i~ r i a l d ~a D t. Scott, as a l ~ v a ~lvas at s, ollce I I I V most tiernantiing allti \ u p p o r t i \ e critic. O.X/(IT(~ I ~ I ~ ~(I/ L O I I I I I ? LI DI L (1961 ed11.).\(>I, 4. E. L-it~re, L)lcttorrrLcrlrr.(it. 10 Iarlgi~c/~nrc(nutj (Paris, 1876). Rat rnor~d\Villiams. Kr>ic,orrl\ (New York, l983), 283.

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Jotin I\'. St ott

rules that follow from the masculine or feminine designation; full of unexarnined possibilities because in many Indo-European languages there is a third categoryurlsexed o r neuter. In its most recent usage, "gender" seems to have first appeared among American feminists ~ v h o wanted to insist on the fundamentally social quality of distinctions based on sex. T h e word denoted a rejection of the biological determinism implicit in the use of such terms as "sex" or "sexual difference." "Gender" also stressed the relational aspect of normative definitions of femininity. Those who worried that women's studies scholarship focused too narrowly and separately on women used the term "gender" to introduce a relational notion into our analytic vocabulary. According to this view, women and men were defined in terms of one another, and no understanding of either could be achieved by entirely separate study. Thus Natalie Davis suggested in 197.5, "It seems to me that we should be interested in the history of both women and men, that we should not be working only o n the subjected sex any more than an historian of class can focus entirely on peasants. O u r goal is to understand the significance of the sexes, of gender groups in the historical past. O u r goal is to discover the range in sex roles and in sexual symbolism in different societies and periods, to find out what meaning they had and how they functioned to maintain the social order or to promote its ~ h a n g e . " ~ In addition, and perhaps most important, "gender" was a term offered by those who claimed that women's scholarship ~vouldfundamentally transform disciplinary paradigms. Feminist scholars pointed out early on that the study of women would not only add new subject matter but ~vouldalso force a critical reexamination of the premises and standards of existing scholarly work. "Ll'e are learning," wrote three feminist historians, "that the writing of women into history necessarily involves redefining and enlarging traditional notions of historical significance, to encompass personal, subjective experience as well as public and political activities. It is not too much to suggest that howe\,er hesitant the actual beginnings, such a methodology implies not only a new history of women, but also a new history."" T h e way in which this new history lvould both include and account for women's experience rested on the extent to which gender could be developed as a category of analysis. Here the analogies to class (and race) were explicit: indeed, the most politically inclusive of scholars of women's studies regularly invoked all three categories as crucial to the writing of a new history.1' An interest in class, race, and gender signaled first, a scholar's commitment to a history that included stories of the oppressed and an analysis of the meaning and nature of their oppression and, second, scholarly understanding that inequalities of power are organized along at least three axes. "atalie Zernon Dalis, "tVome~l'sI I i s t o l . ~ TI-arlsition: T h e European (:ase," F~ln7tllstStudzer, 3 in (1Vi11ter 1975-76): 00. . I n n D. Gordorl, 5lari,Jo Bullle, and Nancy Shrorn Dye, "The Problern of tVornen's Hisrory." in Berenice C:arroll, eti.. 1.7h(~~ot1rtg LZ'omptr's H ~ \ t o q(Yrbana, Ill., 1976), 89. " T h e best allti rnosr subtle example is from,Joan Kelly. "The Doubleti Vision o f F e m i ~ ~ iTheory," st ill her LZ'om~tz, Hlctoq 01ld 7'l~eoq (C:hicago, 1084), 51-64, especially 61.

T'he litany of class, race, and gender suggests a parity for each term, hut, in fact, that is not at all the case. LVhile "class" most often rests on hlarx's elaborate (and since elaborated) theory of economic determination and historical change, "race" and "gendei-" carry no such associations. N o unanimit!. exists among those who ernploy concepts of class. Some scholars employ LVeberian notions, others use class as a temporary heuristic device. Still, when we invoke class, we are working with or against a set of definitions that, in the case of hlarxism, involve a n idea of economic causality and a \,ision of the path along which history has moved dialectically. T h e r e is no such clarity o r coherence for either race o r gender. In the case of gender, the usage has involved a range of theoretical positions as well as simple descriptive references to the relationships between the sexes. Feminist historians, trained as most historians are to be more comfortable with description than theory, have nonetheless increasingly looked for usable theoretical hrrni~lations.They have done so for at least two reasons. First, the proliferation of case studies in women's history seems to call for some synthesizing perspective that can explain continuities and discontinuities and account for persisting inequalities as well as radically different social experiences. Second, the discrepancy between the high quality of recent work in women's history and its continuing marginal status in the field as a whole (as measured by textbooks, syllabi, and monographic rvorh) points u p the limits of descriptive approaches that d o not address dominant clisciplinar!- concepts, o r at least that d o not address these corlcepts in terms that can shake their power and perhaps transform them. It has not been enough for historians of women to prove either that women had a history or that women participated in the major politic.al upheavals of Ll'estern civilization. In the case of women's histor!., the response of niost non-feminist historians has been acknowledgment and then separation or dismissal ("women had a history separate from nlerl's, therefore let feminists d o \\-omen's history, which need not concern us''; o r "women's history is aljor~t and the family and should be done sex separatel!. from political and economic history"). In the case of women's participation, the response has been minimal interest at best ("my understanding of the French Ke\olution is not changed by knotving that women participated in it"). T h e challenge posed b- these responses is, in the end, a theoretical one. It requires ! anal!-sis not only o f t h e relationship between male and female experience in the past but also o f t h e connection betlveen past history and current historical practice. How does gender \vork in human social relationships? How does gender give meaning to the organization and perception of historical kno\vledge? T h e answers depend on gender as a n anal!-tic category. For the no st part, tlie attempts of historians to theorize about gender have remained within traditional social scientific frame~vorks,using longstanding forniulatiolis that provide universal causal explanations. 'l'hese theories have been limited at best because they tend to contain reductive o r overly simple generalizations that undercut not onl!. his tor!.'^ disciplinar!- sense of the complexit!- of social causation but also feminist commitments to anal!-ses that will lead to change.

Joun It'. Scott

A review of these theories will expose their limits and make it possible to propose an alternative approach.'

THE APPROACHES USED B Y MOST HISTORIANS fall into tlvo distinct categories. T h e first is essentially descriptive; that is, it refers to the existence of phenomena or realities without interpreting, explaining, or attributing causality. T h e second usage is causal; it theorizes about the nature of phenomena or realities, seeking an understanding of how and why these take the form they do. In its simplest recent usage, "gender" is a synonym for "women." Any number of books and articles whose subject is \\-omen's history have, in the past few years, substituted "gender" for "women" in their titles. In some cases, this usage, though vaguely referring to certain analytic concepts, is actually about the political acceptability of the field. In these instances, the use of "gender" is meant to denote the scholarly seriousness of a ~ v o r kfor "gender" has a more neutral and objective , sound than does "women." "Gender" seems to fit within the scientific terminology of social science and thus dissociates itself from the (supposedly strident) politics of feminism. In this usage, "gender" does not carry with it a necessary statement about inequality or power nor does it name the aggrieved (and hitherto invisible) party. Whereas the term "women's history" proclainls its politics by asserting (contrary to customary practice) that \\-omenare valid historical subjects, "gender" includes but does not name lvomen and so seems to pose n o critical threat. This use of "gender" is one facet of what might be called the quest of feminist scholarship for academic legitimacy in the 1980s. But onl!- one facet. "Gender" as a substitute for "women" is also used to suggest that information about women is necessarily information about men, that one implies the stud!. of the other. This usage insists that the world of women is part of the world of men, created in and by it. This usage rejects the interpretive utility of the idea of separate spheres, maintaining that to stud!- women in isolation perpetuates the fiction that one sphere, the experience of one sex, has little or nothing to do lvith the other. In addition, gender is also used to designate social relations between the sexes. Its use explicitl!. rejects biological explanations, such as those that find a common denominator for diverse forms of female subordination in the facts that women have the capacit!. to give birth and men have greater muscular strength. Instead, gender becomes a wa!- of denoting "cultural constructions"-the entirel!. social creation of ideas about appropriate roles for women and men. It is a way of referring to the exclusively social origins of the subjective identities of' men and women. Gender is, in this definition, a social category imposed on a sexed body.x Gender seems to have become a particularly useful word as studies of sex and sexuality have proliferated, for it offers a way of differentiating sexual practice from the social roles assigned to women and men. For a review of rrcrnt work O I I \corner~'shistory, ser J o a r ~t V . S c o ~ t ," ~ V O ~ I I ~ I I ' s Histort: 1 he Llodern Perioti," Pact and f'rc.tcnt. 10 1 (1983): 14 1L.57. "01all argument a g a i ~ ~the use of gender to elnptlaslze the social aspect of sexual difference, see st 5loira G a t e ~ ~''A C:ritique of the Sex/(;entie~s. in Distil~ctior~." ,I. Allell allti P. Patton, cds.. Be>ond ,\fa~xum? I ~ t ~ t ' o c ~ t l t a fotr~ 1tf4rx (Sytiliey, IJi83), 149-60. ~ ~r\

Although scholars acknowledge the connection between sex and (what the sociologists of the family called) "sex roles," these scholars d o not assume a simple o r direct linkage. T h e use of gender emphasizes a n entire system of relationships that may include sex, hut is not directly determined by sex o r directly determining of sexuality. These descriptive usages of gender have been employed by historians most often to map out a new terrain. As social historians turned to new objects of stud!., gender was relevant for such topics as women, children, families, and gender ideologies. This usage of gender, in other lvords, refers only to those areas-both structural and ideological-involving relations bet~veen sexes. Because, o n the face of it, the war, diplomacy, and high politics have not been explicitly about those relationships. gender seems not to appl!. and so continues to be irrelevant to the thinking of historians concerned ~vith issues of politics and poIver. T h e effect is to endorse a certain functionalist view ultimately rooted in biology and to perpetuate the idea o f separate spheres (sex or politics, family or nation, women or men) in the writing of history. Although gender in this usage asserts that relationships betlveen the sexes are social, it sa!-s nothing ahout wh!. these relationships are constructed. as the!- are, how the!- work, or how the!. change. In its descriptive usage, then, gender is a concept associated with the stud!- of things related to women. Gender is a new topic, a new department of historical investigation, but it does not have the anal!-tic power to address (and change) existing historical paradigms. Some historians Ivere, of course, aIvare of this problem, hence the efforts to emplo!- theories that might explain the concept of gender and account for historical change. Indeed, the challenge was to reconcile theory, which was framed in general or universal terms, and histor!., which was conlnlitted to the stud!. of contextual specificit!. and fundamental change. T h e result has been extremel!. eclectic: partial borrowings that vitiate the anal!-tic power of a particular theor!- or, worse, employ its precepts without awareness of their implications; o r accounts of change that, because they embed universal theories, only illustrate unchanging themes; o r wondtrfully imaginative studies in which theory is nonetheless so hidden that these studies cannot serve as models for other investigations. Because the theories on which historians have drawn are often not spelled out in all their implications, it seems n.orth~vhileto spend some time doing that. Only through such an exercise can rve evaluate the usefulness of' these theories and, perhaps, articulate a more polverful theoretical approach. Feminist historians have employed a variety of approaches to the analysis of gender, but they come dolvn to a choice between three theoretical positions.The first, an entirely feminist effort, attempts to explain the origins of patriarchy. T h e second locates itself' within a hlarxian tradition and seeks there an accommodation tvith feminist critiques. T h e third, fundamentally divided bet~veen French post-structuralist and Anglo-American object-relations theorists, dra~vs these on " For a somel\,hat different approach to feminist analysis, see Lintla J . Sicholson. Grrldrv n?ld'Hnstor): Tlir Llmlt\ of'Socinl Tiloor> 111 tlrp 4 g c ~ tire Fnmnl) (Serv York. 11186) of

1058

J o a n It'. Scott

different schools of psychoanalysis to explain the production and reproduction of the subject's gendered identity. Theorists of patriarchy have directed their attention ro the subordination of \vomen and found their explanation for it in the male "need" to dominate the female. In hlary O'Hrien's ingenious adaptation of Hegel, she defined male domination as the effect of men's desire t o transcend their alienation from the means of the reproduction o f t h e species. T h e principle of generational continuity restores the primacy of paternity and obscures the real labor and the social realit!of' \\-omen's \\-ork in childbirth. T h e source of rvornen's liberation lies in "an adequate understanding of the process of reproduction," a n appreciation of the contradiction betrveen the nature of \\-omen's reproductive labor and (male) ideological mystifications of it."' For Shularnith Firestone, reproduction \\-as also the "bitter trap" for lvornen. In her more materialist analysis, horz.evei-,libel-atiori ~vouldcome \\-ith transformations in reproductir.e technology, ~vhichmight in some not too distant future eliminate the need for wonlen's bodies as the agents of species reproduction.] If reproduction rvas the key t o patriarchy f i r some, sexuality itself tvas the anslver for others. Catherine hlacKinnon's 1)old formulations \\-ereat once h e r or\-n and characteristic of a certain approach: "Sexuality is to feminism lvhat rvork is to ~narxisnl:that \\-hich is most one's orvn, yet 11lost taken a\\-ay." "Sexual objectification is the primary process of the subjection of rvornen. It unites act rvith word, construction lvith expression, perception \\-ith enforcement, myth rvith reality. hlan fucks woman; sub,ject verb ot~ject."~' Continuing her analogy to Slarx, SlacKinnon offered, in the place of dialectical rnateri:~lisrn,consciousness-raising as feminism's method of analysis. B. expressing the shared experience of ! objectif.iccation, she argued, \vomen come to understand their cornrnon identity and so are moved to political action. For hlacKinnon, sexuality thus stood outside ideology, disco\,erable as an unmediated, experienced fact. ,4lthough sexual relations are defined i l l hlacKinnon's analysis as social, there is nothing except the inherent inequality of the sexual relation itself to explain r\.hy the system of' pol\-eloperates as it does. T h e source of unequal relations betu.een the sexes is, in the end, unequal relations betlveen the sexes. Although the inequality of rvhich sexuality is the source is said to be embodied in a "~vholesystem of social relationships," how this system ~vorks not exp1ained.l:' is Theorists of' patriarchy have addl-essed the inequality of' males and females in important \\-ays, but, for historians, their theories pose ~)roblerns. First, lvhile they offer an analysis internal to the gender system itself, they also assert the primacy of'that system in all social organization. But theories ofpatriarcli!- do not show how gender inequality structures all other inequalities or, indeed, hoic gender affects 46. Shi~laniith Fil-estune. The I)rnlrttnc ol SPX(New York, 1!170). T h e phrase "bitter trap" is O'Brien's. Polrtrr\ of Rcf~rodurtnori, . 8 " Catherme hlcKin~lon. "Feminism, Llarxisrn, hlethoci, and the State: .An Agenda t o r Theol-1.'' Signs, 7 (Spl-inp 1982): i I .5, 5.1 I . I' Ihrd., 541, 5.13. I I

"' hlarv O'Hrien. The P o l ~ t ~ofo Ri,produrtno~z(London. 1981). 8-1.5,

those areas of life that clo not see111 t o I)e connected to it. Srconcl. whetllel. dornin;itior~ comes in the f0rm of' the niale a l ~ l ~ r o l x i a t i o ~ l the fi~iiale's of repi-oducti\.e l a l ~ o r r in the sexual ol?jectific:ition of \\.omen I)\ Iiieri, tlie ;i~:al\.sis o rests o ~ pli\sic:il diftkre~ice. ny ~ ~ h \ s i c ;tliff'el-ence takes 011 a ~i~ii\.el.s;~l i A il 2rntl in changing aspect. e\.en if' theorists of' ~):itri:irch\take into accoutit tlie existence of' changirig f0rrns anel s!,stenis of' gericler inequalit\ . I 4 X theol-!. that re\ts o n the single vari;ible of' p11\ sic:~ldiffet-ence poses 11ro1)lernstor historians: it assumes ;I consistent o r inlierent 1r1e;iliirig for the h u ~ n a n bod\-outside social o r c ~ i l t ~ ~ r : t l constructioti-arlcl thus the ahistoi-icity of' gentler itself'. I-listor! I)econies, in a sense, epiphenomen;~l. 111-ovitlingendless \miations on the unclianging theme of :i fixed gericler inecl~~;ilit\.. h '11 .x '~ sfeminists 1ia\ e :I lnore historic;tl a p l ) ~ - o ; ~guided ;IS the!. are b! ;i theol.!~ , . t ll, of' history. But, ~vh:ite\.e~- \ari;~tions2nd :tdal~t:itions h a \ e heen, thc sclfthe iniposecl r e q u i r e ~ i i r ~ i t there be ;I "~n:~terial" l ~ l a ~ i ; ~ tforn en i o gentler has lirnitetl that ol- at least slotved the de\,elol~ment new lines of :~n;tl\-sis. of' IVliethel- a so-callecl d~~;tl-syster-ns solutio~iis proffered (one that posits the sel);ii-atc I ) r ~ t ilitel.;~cting realms of'capitalisni ~trid p;itri:irch!,) o r an iirial\sis 1);tsecl 1110retirnll!. i l l or~tliotlox XIarxist discussioris of niodes of protluction is tle\.elopecl. the explanatiori fill. the origins of' ant1 changes in gender systenis is fc)~irid outside the sexual division of 1;il)or. F;imilies, ho~~seholcls, sexu;ilit! Lire ;ill, ti~i;llly, ant1 proclucts o t ch:ingi~rg mocles of 111-oductiori. 'l'hat is ho\v Engels co~lcluded exl~loriitions the O~.i,qrt:.r,rc his of' o f t l l p I;(i~tlilj; t11;tt is \\.here economist I-leitli I-1;trtrnann's a~i:il\ ~ i l t i m ~ ~ trests. 15 sis el) I-lartrnann insistecl on the irnl~ort:~nce taking illto account ~~ar~-i;trcli\ of' ant1 capit:ilisni as sep;ir;tte I ~ u tinteracting systcnis. Yet, as hel- argument ~ ~ ~ i f ' o l ( l s . econoniic c:tus:ilit\ takes precedence, :uitl ~ ~ a t r i ; i r c h \ . s cle\,elops allel changes aliva! as k t t'unctiori of' relations of' production. \\.hen she suggested that "it is necessary to eraclicate the sexu;~l ision of'l~ibor di\ itself to end ~riale tlolriinittion," she liieant encling ~ ~ segregation t)!, sex.'" o b Early cliscussions anlorig \l;ti.xist f~riinistscircled around the saliie set of ~ x o b l e n i s : i rejection of' the essenti;tlis~nof' those \\ lio \\.oultl 'irgue that the ; "exigencies of' 1)iologic;il rel~roduction"(leternline the sexu:il cli\isiori of' 1;tl)or unclei. c:ipititlisr-ri;the futilit! of' inserting "lrlodes of'i.el~rocluc.tio~i" cliscussions into 01'1notles o f ' ~ ~ r o d u c t i(itl i.ernains ;in oppositional c;ttegol-y alicl cloes not ;isstllne o ~ ec1u;il status \vith triodes of procluction); the I-ecognitionthat eco~loniic s\.stenls clo not directl! determine gender reliitionshil~s,indeecl. that tlie sul)or.dinatiot~of' tvornen 111-e-dates c:il~it;~lisrn continues under sociiilism; the searcli nonetheless :tricl

' ' For .in ilrtcrcsting tli\cr~rsior~ the ~ ~ r c n g t :in(! l i r ~ ~ i of the tern1 "lj:itl.i;11(.11\ ." cee tile (III(I ,S(I(I(I/I\~ TIIIYII? I L o r ~ ( l o r 198 I 1. 3(i,%-i:i. ~, " I;I-eder-irk k:~lgel\.1.110 O~r,qul\ tlic. /;c11,r16.I',~i~iiii, (I/ lJ,o[i,~,f~. (11ir1//II> \/ci/i,( 1884. Ieljl 1111~(111.. Kt.{\ 1.0rk. 1972).

I t ' Heidi 1H:i1 ~ I ~ I : I ~ I"(::i1jit'ilisr11, l ' a t ~ - i a ~ c lar~ci101) Seg1-rg~itio11 Sex," SI~IIS, ( S l j ~ i l i g II, ~\, , I>\ I I!lYtj):
l(iX, See 'ilso ' T h e L.r~llaf)p\Xlarri and relatively vide-ranging, to those of' their English counterparts, tied rnore closely to the politics of a strong and viable hlarxist tradition, reveals that the English have had greater difficult> in challenging the constraints of strictly determinist explanations. This dif'ficulty can 11e seen most dranlatically in the recent debates in the L\rj.rc Lcft RP~~~PZ~I bet~veen hlichkle Barrett and. her critics, ~ v h o charged her with abandoning a materialist anal>sis of the sexual division of l a l ~ o r under- capitalisn1.2' It can be seen as well in the replacement of an initial ferni~iistattempt to reconcile ps\choanal>sis and. 5Iarxisnl ~ v i t ha choice of one o r another of these theoretical positions b> scholars ~ v h o earlier insisted that some fusion of'the two \\.as possible."" T h e difficulty for both English and .American feminists working ~vithirlhlarxism is apparent in the \corks I have mentioned here. ?'he problem they face is the opposite of the one posed. by patriarchal theory. 1Vithin hlarxisn~, concept of the gender has long been treated as the by-product of changing economic structures; gender has had. no indepenclent analytic status of' its own.

A REVIEW OF PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY REQUIRES ;I specification of'schools, since the various approaches have tended. to 11e classified b> the national origins of the founders a n d the majority of' the practitioners. 'There is the .Anglo-.American school. working within the terms of theories of ol?ject-relations. I n the U.S., Nancy Chodorolv is the name rnost readily associated. with this approach. In addition, the work of Carol Gilligan has had a far-reaching impact o n American scholarship, Johanna Urenner a n d Xlaria Katnas. "KethinLing \Vonien's Oppression," .Yru l.(,ft Rf'i17?i1'. 144 (hfarch-April 1984): 33-71: klichele Barrett. "Rethinking \Vonien's Oppression: A Repll t o Urenner . and Ranias," .Yeu Left Keil~rii~, !July-August 1984): 12:(-28: Angela \Veil- and k;lizaheth IVilson. 146 "The British IVomen's klo\enient," .Yfu 1,tft Rrilzrz,. 148 (Soveniber-December 1984): 74-103: XlichCle Uarrett, "A Kesponse to LVeir and LVilson.".Yczi~ Krr'te;c,, 150 (Xlarch-April 198.5): 14:(-47; Lrft J'rne Lewis, "The Debate o n Sex and

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