Durkheim and women by Jennifer M. Lehmann

By Jennifer M. Lehmann

Durkheim and ladies is the 1st book-length paintings to give a feminist research of the theoretical writings of Emile Durkheim. via an in depth textual studying of Durkheim’s greatly scattered statements approximately ladies, Jennifer M. Lehmann reconstructs a coherent Durkheimian thought of ladies. She areas Durkheim squarely within the swirling modernist controversies of his time and the both bedeviling postmodernist controversies of ours.

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Durkheim's thinking is in line with Rousseau's in the sense that both advocate separate spheres for women and men in the social order, to reflect their different and unequal "natures" as given in the natural order. The "nature" of women corresponds with the requirements of the private sphere, and the nature of men corresponds with the requirements of the public sphere. " Durkheim and Rousseau have different conceptions of the private sphere and women's work, however. For Rousseau women, as wives and mothers in marriages and families, have important social functions, notably emotional and educational functions serving men and children.

27 Comparing Durkheim with other conservatives on the woman question clearly demonstrates that he was not alone in advocating traditional sex roles and relationships and invoking new, "scientific" arguments for old, stratified social structures. Like other patriarchalists, he viewed women as essentially different and unequal in relation to men. Like other patriarchalists, he believed that social structures of sexual stratification, specialization, and segregation correspond to, reflect, and express natural strictures of sexual disparity, differentiation, and divergence.

Human progress consists first in the domination of nature by force (industrialism) and ultimately in the domination of force by morality (positivism). Page 14 Women are to have a central, even primary, role first in the moralizing reform of industrial society and then, ultimately, in the functioning of the perfect society, organized under the aegis of the positivist religion of humanity. But the centrality and primacy of women does not entail egalitarian relationships with men, structural or functional similarity to men, or participation in the public sphere.

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