ERIC Number: ED196779
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
The Role of the Family and Women Under Contemporary Urbanism.
Mackenzie, Suzanne; Seymour, Lee
This paper examines how selected aspects of contemporary urban environment influence the form and function of the family and the position of women within the family and within society. The study was undertaken within the framework of Marxian analysis and with a specific focus on how advanced industrial capitalism perpetuates the family in its present form. The hypothesis is that the positions of the family and of women have changed fundamentally since the capitalist mode of production brought about a spatial and functional separation between domestic and industrial activities. Specific indications of this separation include that the means of making a livelihood passed from the hands of the family into the hands of the capitalist class, women were left with only the responsibility for the domestic sphere, women and children were drafted as cheap labor and kept in unskilled positions, women became financially dependent on men, and the family unit became peripheral to commodity production. Review of socialization, historical, and political-economics literature indicates that, in addition to these historical influences, several other phenomena have contributed to the position of the family and of women in modern urban societies. Among these phenomena are sprawling urban housing patterns (which encourage individualized and spatially isolated family units and artificial stimulation of consumption), the perpetuation of this isolated family function in accordance with the long term nature of housing resources, and capitalism's inherent necessity for growth in the form of more consumption units structured along these same lines. Additional research is suggested on the role of women in the family under capitalism in the contemporary urban environment. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (New York, NY, 1976).