The recent history of feminist theorizing has involved the marginalization of systemic accounts of gender, usually operationalizing a notion of “patriarchy” (and/or capitalism) in the understanding of social life. The “postmodern turn,” has encouraged feminists to eschew systemic notions and emphasize the fluidity of gender as an identity constituted through human action. The cross cutting fractures caused by age, class, caste, religion, sexuality and spatial location, led some to conclude that the level of generalization required by systemic analyses made these forms of theorizing a homogenizing of social difference. This chapter argues against the grain, for a complex theory of patriarchy, which can account for the enmeshings of gender with/in/across other systemic for-mations of domination, based on “difference.” Gregor McLellan (1995) has suggested that the theory of patriarchy advanced by Sylvia Walby (1990, 1992) can be described as a form of “complex modernism.” I argue this can also be seen as a form of complex systems theory, and a useful ontology for the understanding of gender in the context of cross cutting structures of other formations of social domination based on difference.
KeywordsBlack Woman Popular Culture Gender Relation Domestic Labor Patriarchal System
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