The Political Economy of Patriarchal Systems
Presidents Hall, Franklin Hall
Feminist efforts to theorize the emergence and evolution of gender inequality no longer invoke some abstract, a-historical “patriarchy.” Rather, they explore the co-evolution of many distinct patriarchies with other hierarchical structures of constraint, emphasizing intersecting forms of inequality based, for instance, on class, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and hetero-normativity. In this presentation, I argue that economic theory offers some important analytical tools for this exploration, providing a framework for analyzing the interplay of social structure and individual choice. In particular, I explain how game theory, bargaining models, and concepts of exploitation can enrich the emerging interdisciplinary paradigm of feminist theory.