ERIC Number: ED218182
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Paradigms of Production: Theoretical Basis for Bias? A History of the Idea "Man's Role, Woman's Place" in Geography.
Marburg, Sandra L.
This paper shows how geographic ideas about women have developed and have been structured through two major "views" or paradigms about the nature of social organization itself. These two fundamentally different interpretations of human labor--livelihood and production--which the author calls the ethnographic paradigm and the economic paradigm, have structured the "windows" of seeing and not seeing women in the geographic drama. Structurally the ethnographic paradigm emphasizes an interdependence between the sexes--the economic paradigm, male dominance. Historically these patterns are rooted in and reflect prevailing social attitudes, the most fundamental being "Man's Role, Woman's Place." Sexism within the content of the ethnographic paradigm appeared in the latter part of the 19th century as an exaggerated duality of innate sex difference. Women were seen as maternal, men as intellectual and progressive. Sexism within the economic paradigm reflects more a predisposition toward male centrism in the definition of important domains. Historically the ethnographic paradigm has been important in the description of prehistory or subsistence peoples, while the economic paradigm has been utilized to explain commercial peoples. Since 1920, however, the major tenet of the economic paradigm--the idea that men support women--has been extended into the assessment of subsistence peoples, with a resulting decline in knowledge about women. Neither of these approaches to production deals adequately with the concept of production. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (Los Angeles, CA, April 19-22, 1981).