Gender issues continue to be a prominent concern of academics and policy-makers, and increasingly arise in various forms to be debated in the public sphere and popular media. But what exactly do we mean by gender? How can we best understand gender differences? How are current gender relations changing? What new paths are femininity and masculinity taking? What would it be like to live in a society in which differences of gender were transcended? In this new edition of her popular and highly lauded book, Harriet Bradley provides an introduction to the concept of gender and the different theoretical approaches which have developed within gender studies. Utilizing life narratives, she investigates processes of gendering in three important spheres of contemporary social life: production, reproduction and consumption. The book highlights the centrality of gender in everyday life and shows how thinking about gender is influenced by changing political contexts.
As well as updating the discussion with the latest scholarship, political concerns and economic data, the new edition pays closer attention to intersectionality and hybrid identities, as well as exploring the complexities of contemporary relations of masculinity and femininity in the light of new feminist activities. This lively and accessible book will be of interest to students across the social sciences, as well as anyone interested in contemporary relations between women and men.
Harriet Bradley is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Bristol.
Preface to Second Edition vii Introduction: The Concept of Gender 1 IN AND OUT OF THE FRAME: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF GENDER 9 1. What's in a Name? Meanings and Usages of Gender 15 GENDERING AND CLASS: GROWING UP GIRL, GROWING UP BOY 29 2. Gender and Modernity 37 'WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?' BEING A MAN IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY 54 3. Gender and Postmodernity 64 'SISTERS UNDER THEIR SKINS'? IDENTITIES IN A GLOBAL AGE 87 4. Gendered Worlds: Production 98 HAVING IT ALL: FAMILY AND EMPLOYMENT IN WOMEN'S LIVES 118 5. Gendered Worlds: Reproduction 129 MEN, MARRIAGE AND EMOTIONS: ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN THE SEXES 150 6. Gendered Worlds: Consumption 159 IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY: GENDERED UTOPIAS 183 Conclusion: What the Future Holds Gender, Theory and Politics 195 Questions for Discussion 221 Glossary 223 References 227 Index 242