Review by Choice Review
Walby's multistranded project--to "provide a comprehensive overview of. . . explanations of women's subordination in contemporary society," to discuss "why recent changes have occured," and to develop a new theory for the analysis of gender relations--is contained within a short title, plain covers, and a thin volume. Her analysis is, however, both complex and dense. In the course of the book, she develops a three-dimensional taxonomy in order to construct a theory that conforms to what R.W. Connell (Gender and Power, CH, Jul'88) has called a "power analysis of gender" depicting men and women as "social blocks linked by a direct power relation." First Walby discusses what she invokes as the main theoretical prespectives on gender oppression (liberal feminist, Marxist feminist, radical feminist, and dual systems). Next she focuses on what each has to contribute to the understanding of what she calls the six structures of male domination and oppression (patriarchal relations in household production, paid work, culture, sexuality, use of violence, and the state). Finally, Walby reconstructs the historical transformations of patriarchy in each of these structures within a continuum of private to public "expropriation of women." The book should be of interest to faculty and students of feminist theory, upper-division undergraduate level and above. N. B. Rosenthal SUNY College at Old Westbury
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.