chapter  7
43 Pages

Women and production: a critical analysis of some sociological theories of women's work

Despite the emergence of important new areas of theoretical discussion within the women's liberation movement, such as analyses of domestic labour and the concept of patriarchy, and despite the substantial growth of research by feminist historians into the history of women, relatively little attention has been paid to the problems involved in analysing the position of female wage labour in the capitalist mode of production.1 In attempting to understand the material basis of women's position in the family at the same time as count ering the view – certainly common within sociology – that women's position in the family is definable in cultural terms, marxist feminists have tended to concentrate their work on the question of domestic labour and its productivity. One result of this concentration has been that the analysis of domestic labour has become isolated from the analysis of female wage labour, which has itself not been the subject of very much theoretical discussion either within the women's movement or within marxist theory.2