Gender issues have become an increasingly prominent concern of academics and policy-makers. Although the death of feminism has often been pronounced, feminist ideas still permeate modern thinking. But what exactly do we mean by gender? How can we best understand gender differences? How are current gender relations changing? Are we facing a crisis of masculinity? Is social life being feminized? What would it be like to live in a society in which differences of gender were transcended? In this lively and accessible book Harriet Bradley provides an introduction to the concept of gender and the different theoretical approaches which have developed within gender studies. Using life narratives, she explores contemporary relations of masculinity and femininity and investigates processes of gendering in three important spheres of contemporary social life: production, reproduction and consumption. The book highlights the centrality of gender in everyday life and shows how thinking about gender is influenced by changing political contexts, considering the options for a transformative politics of gender.
This book will be of interest to students across the social sciences, as well as anyone interested in contemporary relations between women and men.
Harriet Bradley is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol.