The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems

Nancy Folbre


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  • Verso Books
  • 2021
  • ISBN 9781786632951
  • 320 pages
  • Softcover
  • 23 × 15 × 2 cm

An Intersectional Political Economy

Why do patriarchal systems survive? In this groundbreaking work of feminist theory, Nancy Folbre examines the contradictory effects of capitalist development. She explains why the work of caring for others is under-valued and under-rewarded in today’s global economy, calling attention to the organisation of childrearing, the care of other dependants, and the inheritance of assets. Upending conventional definitions of the economy based only on the market, Folbre emphasizes the production of human capabilities in families and communities and the social reproduction of group solidarities. Highlighting the complexity of hierarchical systems and their implications for political coalitions, The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems sets a new feminist agenda for the twenty-first century.

Nancy Folbre is Professor Emerita at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a Senior Fellow of the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College and the author of Greed, Lust, and Gender; Valuing Children; and The Invisible Heart.

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