What Is Joan Scott Gender A Useful Category Of Historical Analysis

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Joan Scott’s central argument in her seminal work Gender: A useful Category of Historical Analysis is that gender as a framework of inquiry is relevant to many historical fields beyond simply women’s history. Scott argues that ‘descriptive usage of gender’ relegates gender to being analytically irrelevant towards addressing and changing historical paradigms. She reprimands the three distinct methods through which feminist historians have traditionally approached gender. The first process is the attempt to ‘explain the origins of the patriarchy’, which she criticises for not demonstrating how gender inequality influences society at large. Secondly, she critiques the Marxist orientation for being too rigid in the ‘self-imposed requirement’

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