November 15: Bodies Together: Families and the Politics of Gender

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffle

Wgs lecture notes nov 15 Family!!!! Introducing the family - Institution: privilege and inequality - Role of patriarchy Kinship systems  Patterned around marriage - Monogamy – 1 pairing of marraige - Polygamy – guy with multiple wives  Extended family vs. “nuclear” family Normative notions of family - Middle class - Heterosexual - Married with children Realities - Single parents - Multi-generational households - Cooperative living arrangements - Grandparents (or other family members) raising children - LGBTQ families - Childless family Institutionized aspects of the family - Economic - Political - Religious - Social Family as economic institution - Patriarchal - Fredrich engels (german, Marxist): “the origin of the family, private property and the state” (1884) - Loss of “mother-right” - Gendered division of labour Engels and the rise of the patriarchal family - Matrilineal to patrilineal - Mother right - Private property - Women reduced to servitude - Gendered division of labour Family as political institution - Marriage licenses - Taxation - Hospitals and major life decisions - Welfare programs for all children (and their families) - Citizenship Family as a religious institution - Marriage rites - Rules on permissible marriages - Initiation of children into community - Religious/moral education - Control of sexuality (taboos, morality) Family as a social institution - Source of identity - Learning gender roles - Age and gender roles: authority - Father as ‘head’ of family Family as social institution - Gayle rubin “the traffic in women” (1975) - ‘sex-gender system’: sexual division of labour - Compulsory heterosexuality - Socialoizing children: proper gender roles - Adrienne rich (1980): heterosexual imperative Th
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