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Mann A Crisis In Stratification Theory Notes

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Michael Mann - A Crisis in Stratification Theory? Persons, Households/Families/Lineages, Genders, Classes and Nations

Society can't be captured as neatly as as particle physics, though we attempt to make it so
○ Marxist and Weberian analyses define three nuclei of social stratification: social class, social status/ideology and political power
■ some aspects of stratification are difficult to fit to this model
● e.g. ethnic, religious struggle, gender relations
■ the difficulty of fitting gender within a Marxist/Weberian analysis has led to families being treated as the basic unit of society, not individual

Patriarchy in Agrarian Societies
● Patriarchal society:
○ one in which male heads of households hold power
○ clear separation between public and private spheres
○ in the private sphere the head dominates women, junior males and children
○ in the public sphere power is shared between men according to the other principles of stratification that obtain (e.g. class)
■ 'no female holds any formal public position of economic, ideological, military or political power'
■ hence women's only access to power is through influencing their private patriarch
● In a patriarchal society:
○ women are protected to some extent by the law and custom
○ less was in the public sphere than is now
○ women and men belonged/belong to different households in their lifetimes, confusing power relations somewhat
● Because of the public/private division in patriarchal societies, we can examine political power/history (the public sphere) in patriarchal societies without referring to gender
○ that is to say, the internal structure of public stratification in a patriarchal society is not gendered
○ but we must acknowledge that women always existed in the private sphere
● As the particularism of agrarian society gave way to the universal, diffused stratification of modern society (i.e. as women were absorbed into the public sphere AND/OR the public/private divide broken down), stratification became gendered internally Three Modern Transformations of Gender and Stratification

1. The Capitalist Economy - Neo-patriarchy and gendered classes
● As capitalism developed, women were absorbed in the labour force, despite the periodic successful efforts of men to deny them this access
○ their wages meant they were unable to support themselves or their families, hence they remained dependent on men
○ hence the simple public/private division gave way to a more subtle gender segregation 'neo-patriarchy'
■ this was characterised by occupational segregation
■ women's lives now being divided into 'private and part-public phases'
■ women not generally active users of capital

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