There is continued frustration over the failure of established social theory to be altered despite dramatic developments in women's lives and feminist theory. I argue that this process has been blocked by an overly static conception of society and gender itself. Close examination of the actual circumstances of African American and white women in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States reveals the relationship between gender and economic and political development has been a dynamic historical one, culminating recently in a radical transformation of women's lives and work. I develop the implications of this argument for older analytic divisions between work and home, or productive and reproductive labor, and for recent shifts in theory. Coherent grasp of the events currently altering women's lives provides a clear way to join gender with earlier theoretical concerns, as another moment of social transformation brought about by a still-unfolding process of economic and political development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science