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The Family: Marxist and Feminist Theories

 
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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Michèle Barrett (Queen Mary University of London) explores Marxist and Feminist approaches to the family. In the first module, we caution against seeing different sociological approaches, particularly Functionalism, Marxism, and Feminism, as entirely separate “boxes”. In the second module, we outline the Marxist approach to the family, expressed most notably by Friedrich Engels, and in the third we turn to the ideas of four key Feminist theorists – Shulamith Firestone, Kate Millett, Christine Delphy, and Ann Oakley. In the fourth module, we look at attempts to unify Marxist and Feminist analysis, particularly those of Eli Zaretsky and Margaret Benston, and in the final module, we examine historical variations in how families have been organised and defined, asking whether it is useful to refer to “the family” as a universal concept.

About the Lecturer

Professor Michèle Barrett is Professor of Modern Literary and Cultural Theory at Queen Mary University of London. She has a wide and multi-disciplinary range of expertise, including literary modernism and the work of Virginia Woolf, Marxist and Feminist social theory, family studies, and the history of the First World War. Her publications include Women’s Oppression Today: The Marxist/Feminist Encounter (3rd ed. 2015), The Anti-Social Family (2nd ed. 2015, as co-author), and Casualty Figures: How Five Men Survived the First World War (2007).

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