The Sexual Contract
By (author) Carole Pateman
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Sexual Contract by Carole Pateman
Book DescriptionIn this remarkably original work of political philosophy, one of today's foremost feminist theorist challenges the way contemporary society functions by questioning the standard interpretation of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: that our rights and freedoms derive from the social contract explicated by Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau and interpreted in the United States by the Founding Fathers. The author shows how we are told only half the story of the original contract that establishes modern patriarchy. The sexual contract is ignored and thus men's patriarchal right over women is also glossed over. No attention is paid to the problems that arise when women are excluded from the original contract but incorporated into the new contractual order. One of the main targets of the book is those who try to turn contractarian theory to progressive use, and a major thesis of the book is that this is not possible. Thus those feminists who have looked to a more "proper" contract- one between genuinely equal partners, or one entered into without any coercion- are misleading themselves. In the author's words, "In contract theory universal freedom is always a hypothesis, a story, a political fiction. Contract always generates political right in the forms of domination and subordination." Thus the book is also aimed at mainstream political theorists, and socialist and other critics of contract theory. The author offers a sweeping challenge to conventional understandings- of both left and right- of actual contracts in everyday life: the marriage contract, the employment contract, the prostitution contract, and the new surrogate mother contract. By bringing a feminist perspective to bear on the contradictions and paradoxes surrounding women and contract, and the relation between the sexes, she is able to shed new light on fundamental political problems of freedom and subordination.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780804714778
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Stanford University Press
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publish Date: 1-Apr-1988
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Carole Pateman
Feminist Challenges, Hardback (April 2013)
In this title, new and established scholars demonstrate the application of feminism in a range of academic disciplines including history, philosophy, politics, and sociology.
Basic Income Worldwide, Hardback (July 2012)
In the midst of growing criticism of current economic orthodoxies and welfare systems, basic income is growing in popularity. This is the first book to discuss existing at examples of basic income, in both rich and poor countries, and to consider its prospects in other places around the world.
Contract and Domination, Hardback (September 2007)» View all books by Carole Pateman
Contract and Domination offers a bold challenge to contemporary contract theory, arguing that it should either be fundamentally rethought or abandoned altogether.
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Author Biography - Carole Pateman
Carole Pateman is Reader in Government at the University of Sydney, Australia, and the author of many books, including "The Problems of Political Obligation."
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