Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.




There are a number of schools of feminist thought with varying interpretations of family and its implications. Nonetheless, all feminisms, in making women visible, draw attention to gender politics and see family, and mothering in particular, as a key site of power.


Feminism is often divided into waves, with the first wave occurring mainly in the nineteenth century in European and New World societies, the second wave from the mid to late twentieth century, and the third wave beginning in the twenty-first century. Intellectually, feminist work has challenged ideas about ‘natural’ gender roles by arguing that families as social institutions play a particular part in the way in which society is organized. Key feminist contributions include new questions about motherhood and housework, and making visible ...

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