The new edition of Key Concepts in Gender Studies is a lively and engaging introduction to this dynamic field. Thoroughly revised throughout, the second edition benefits from the addition of nine new concepts including Gender Social Movements, Intersectionality and Mainstreaming. Each of the entries: • begins with a concise definition • outlines the history of each term and the debates surrounding it • includes illustrations of how the concept has been applied within the field • offers examples which allow a critical re-evaluation of the concept • is cross-referenced with the other key concepts • ends with guidance on further reading. A must-buy for undergraduate and postgraduate students in a range of social science and humanities disciplines.



Literally, patriarchy means rule by a male head of a social unit (a family or tribe, for example), over other (especially, younger) men, all women and children. Since the early twentieth century, feminist writers have used the concept to refer to the social system of men’s domination over women. Patriarchy has been a fundamentally important concept in gender studies, leading to the development of a number of theories that aim to identify the bases of women’s subordination to men.

Three theories in which patriarchy is a central concept are those commonly labelled as ‘radical feminist’, ‘Marxist feminist’ and ‘dual systems theory’. In ‘radical feminist’ analyses, patriarchy is regarded as the primary and fundamental social division in society. In radical feminist analyses of patriarchy, key means ...

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