Rabdan Academy Bargaining With Patriarchy Enter Microcredit Essay Please write an essay comparing Bargaining With Patriarchy, Enter Microcredit, and Factor

Rabdan Academy Bargaining With Patriarchy Enter Microcredit Essay Please write an essay comparing Bargaining With Patriarchy, Enter Microcredit, and Factory as Home. In your essay, describe patriarchal structures, how they are being challenged from within or outside society, and how patriarchal practices interact with aspects of modernity. Write a well organized essay with an introduction, conclusion, and several body paragraphs.no need for in text citation or references just from the readings Bargaining with Patriarchy
Author(s): Deniz Kandiyoti
Source: Gender and Society, Vol. 2, No. 3, Special Issue to Honor Jessie Bernard (Sep.,
1988), pp. 274-290
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/190357
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Gender and Society
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Richmond College, United Kingdom
This article argues that systematic comparative analyses of women’s str
coping mechanisms lead to a more culturally and temporally grounded u
of patriarchal systems than the unqualified, abstract notion of patriarchy
in contemporary feminist theory. Women strategize within a set of concret
which I identify as patriarchal bargains. Different forms of patriarchy pre
with distinct “rules of the game” and call for different strategies to maxim
and optimize life options with varying potential for active or passive resist
face of oppression. Two systems of male dominance are contrasted: the
African pattern, in which the insecurities of polygyny are matched wi
relative autonomy for women, and classic patriarchy, which is characteri
and East Asia as well as the Muslim Middle East. The article ends with a
the conditions leading to the breakdown and transformation of patriarc
and their implications for women’s consciousness and struggles.
Of all the concepts generated by contemporary feminist
patriarchy is probably the most overused and, in some res
most undertheorized. This state of affairs is not due to neg
there is a substantial volume of writing on the question, but r
the specific conditions of development of contemporary
usages of the term. While radical feminists encouraged a ve
usage, to apply to virtually any form or instance of male d
socialist feminists have mainly restricted themselves to ana
relationships between patriarchy and class under capitalis
result, the term patriarchy often evokes an overly monolithic
AUTHOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article, titled “Deconstructing
Patriarchy,” was presented at the Eleventh World Congress of Sociology, New Delhi,
and at the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon in
Eugene. My thanks are due to Joan Acker for her consistent support, to Maxine
Molyneux, Bina Agarwal, and Marjorie Mbilinyifor inspiring discussions of the topic,
to Judith Stacey for her helpful editorial comments, and to Judith Lorber for her
skillful editing. Reprint requests should be sent to Professor Deniz Kandiyoti, 10
Ashmount Road, London N19 3BH, England.
GENDER & SOCIETY, Vol. 2 No. 3, September 1988 274-290
o 1988 Sociologists for Women in Society
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tion of male dominance, which is treated at a level of abstraction that
obfuscates rather than reveals the intimate inner workings of
culturally and historically distinct arrangements between the genders.
It is not my intention to provide a review of the theoretical debates
around patriarchy (Barrett 1980; Beechey 1979; Delphy 1977; Eisenstein
1978; Hartmann 1981; McDonough and Harrison 1978; Mies 1986;
Mitchell 1973; Young 1981). Instead, I would like to propose an
important and relatively neglected point of entry for the identification
of different forms of patriarchy through an analysis of women’s
strategies in dealing with them. I will argue that women strategize
within a set of concrete constraints that reveal and define the
blueprint of what I will term the patriarchal bargain’ of any g
society, which may exhibit variations according to class, caste,
ethnicity. These patriarchal bargains exert a powerful influenc
the shaping of women’s gendered subjectivity and determin
nature of gender ideology in different contexts. They also influ
both the potential for and specific forms of women’s active or pa
resistance in the face of their oppression. Moreover, patriar
bargains are not timeless or immutable entities, but are susceptib
historical transformations that open up new areas of struggle
renegotiation of the relations between genders.
By way of illustration, I will contrast two systems of m
dominance, rendered ideal-typical for the purposes of discu
their implications for women. I use these ideal types as heur
devices that have the potential of being expanded and fleshed o
with systematic, comparative, empirical content, although
article makes no pretense at providing anything beyond a mere sk
of possible variations. The two types are based on examples f
sub-Saharan Africa, on the one hand, and the Middle East, South
Asia, and East Asia on the other. My aim is to highlight a continuum
ranging from less corporate forms of householding, involving the
relative autonomy of mother-child units evidenced in sub-Saharan
polygyny, to the more corporate male-headed entities prevalent in the
regions identified by Caldwell (1978) as the “patriarchal belt.” In the
final section, I analyze the breakdown and transformation of patriarchal bargains and their relationship to women’s consciousness and
I had one of my purest experiences of culture shock in the
of reviewing the literature on women in agricultural devel
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276 GENDER & SOCIETY / September 1988
projects in sub-Saharan Africa (Kandiyoti 1985). Accustomed as I was
to only one type of patriarchy (which I shall describe in some detail
later, under the rubric of classic patriarchy), I was ill prepared for
what I found. The literature was rife with instances of women’s
resistance to attempts to lower the value of their labor and, more
important, women’s refusal to allow the total appropriation of their
production by their husbands. Let me give some examples.
Wherever new agricultural schemes provided men with inputs and
credit, and the assumption was made that as heads of household they
would have access to their wives’ unremunerated labor, problems
seemed to develop. In the Mwea irrigated rice settlement in Kenya,
where women were deprived of access to their own plots, their lack of
alternatives and their total lack of control over men’s earnings made
life so intolerable to them that wives commonly deserted their
husbands (Hanger and Moris 1973). In Gambia, in yet another ricegrowing scheme, the irrigated land and credit were made available to
men only, even though it was the women who traditionally grew rice
in tidal swamps, and there was a long-standing practice of men and
women cultivating their own crops and controlling the produce.
Women’s customary duties with respect to labor allocation to
common and individual plots protected them from demands by their
husbands that they provide free labor on men’s irrigated rice fields.
Men had to pay their wives wages or lend them an irrigated plot to
have access to their labor. In the rainy season, when women had the
alternative of growing their own swamp rice, they created a labor
bottleneck for the men, who simply had to wait for the days women
did not go to their own fields (Dey 1981).
In Conti’s (1979) account of a supervised smallholder settlement
project in Upper Volta, again, the men were provided with land and
credit, leaving the women no independent resource base and a very
inadequate infrastructure to carry out their daily household chores.
The result was vocal protest and refusal to cooperate. Roberts
(forthcoming) similarly illustrates the strategies used by women to
maximize their autonomy in the African context. Yoruba women in
Nigeria, for instance, negotiate the terms of their farm-labor services
to their husbands while thPy aim to devote more time and energy to
the trading activities that will enable them to support themselves and
ultimately give up such services. Hausa women, whose observance of
Islamic seclusion reduces the demands husbands can make for their
services, allocate their labor to trade, mainly the sale of ready-cooked
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In short, the insecurities of African polygyny for women are
matched by areas of relative autonomy that they clearly strive to
maximize. Men’s responsibility for their wives’ support, while
normative in some instances, is in actual fact relatively low. Typically,
it is the woman who is primarily responsible for her own and her
children’s upkeep, including meeting the costs of their education,
with variable degrees of assistance from her husband. Women have
very little to gain and a lot to lose by becoming totally dependent on
husbands, and hence they quite rightly resist projects that tilt the
delicate balance they strive to maintain. In their protests, wives are
safeguarding already existing spheres of autonomy.
Documentation of a genuine trade-off between women’s autonomy
and men’s responsibility for their wives can be found in some
historical examples. Mann (1985) suggests that despite the wifely
dependence entailed by Christian marriage, Yoruba women in Lagos
accepted it with enthusiasm because of the greater protection they
thought they would receive. Conversely, men in contemporary
Zambia resist the more modern ordinance marriage, as opposed to
customary marriage, because it burdens them with greater obligations
for their wives and children (Munachonga 1982). A form of conjugal
union in which the partners may openly negotiate the exchange of
sexual and labor services seems to lay the groundwork for more
explicit forms of bargaining. Commenting on Ashanti marriage, Abu
(1983, p. 156) singles out as its most striking feature “the separateness
of spouses’ resources and activities and the overtness of the bargaining
element in the relationship.” Polygyny and, in this case, the
continuing obligations of both men and women to their own kin do
not foster a notion of the family or household as a corporate entity.
Clearly, there are important variations in African kinship systems
with respect to marriage forms, residence, descent, and inheritance
rules (Guyer and Peters 1987). These variations are grounded in
complete cultural and historical processes, including different modes
of incorporation of African societies into the world economy
(Mbilinyi 1982; Murray 1987; S. Young 1977). Nonetheless, it is
within a broadly defined Afro-Caribbean pattern that we find some of
the clearest instances of noncorporateness of the conjugal family both
in ideology and practice, a fact that informs marital and marketplace
strategies for women. Works on historical transformations (for
example, Etienne and Leacock 1980) suggest that colonization eroded
the material basis for women’s relative autonomy (such as usufructary
access to communal land or traditional craft production) without
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278 GENDER & SOCIETY / September 1988
offering attenuating modifications in either marketplace or marital
options. The more contemporary development projects discussed
above also tend to assume or impose a male-headed corporate family
model, which curtails women’s options without opening up other
avenues to security and well-being. The women perceive these
changes, especially if they occur abruptly, as infractions that consti-
tute a breach of their existing accommodations with the maledominated order. Consequently, they openly resist them.
These examples of women’s open resistance stand in stark c
to women’s accommodations to the system I will call classic
patriarchy. The clearest instance of classic patriarchy may be found in
a geographical area that includes North Africa, the Muslim Middle
East (including Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran), and South and East Asia
(specifically, India and China).2
The key to the reproduction of classic patriarchy lies in the
operations of the patrilocally extended household, which is also
commonly associated with the reproduction of the peasantry in
agrarian societies (E. Wolf 1966). Even though demographic and
other constraints may have curtailed the numerical predominance of
three-generational patrilocal households, there is little doubt that
they represent a powerful cultural ideal. It is plausible that the
emergence of the patriarchal extended family, which gives the senior
man authority over everyone else, including younger men, is bound
up in the incorporation and control of the family by the state (Ortner
1978), and in the transition from kin-based to tributary modes of
surplus control (E. Wolf 1982). The implications of the patrilinealpatrilocal complex for women not only are remarkably uniform but
also entail forms of control and subordination that cut across cultural
and religious boundaries, such as those of Hinduism, Confucianism,
and Islam.
Under classic patriarchy, girls are given away in marriage at a very
young age into households headed by their husband’s father. There,
they are subordinate not only to all the men but also to the more
senior women, especially their mother-in-law. The extent to which
this represents a total break with their own kin group varies in
relation to the degree of endogamy in marriage practices and different
conceptions of honor. Among the Turks, there are lower rates of
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endogamy, and a husband is principally responsible for a woman’s
honor. Among the Arabs, there is much greater mutuality among
affines, and a women’s natal family retains both an interest and a say
in protecting their married daughter’s honor (Meeker 1976). As a
result, a Turkish woman’s traditional position more closely resembles
the status of the “stranger-bride” typical of prerevolutionary China
than that of an Arab woman whose position in the patriarchal
household may be somewhat attenuated by endogamy and recourse to
her natal kin.
Whether the prevalent marriage payment is dowry or bride-price,
in classic patriarchy, women do not normally have any claim on their
father’s patrimony. Their dowries do not qualify as a form of
premortem inheritance since they are transferred directly to the
bridegroom’s kin and do not take the form of productive property,
such as land (Agarwal 1987; Sharma 1980). In Muslim communities,
for a woman to press for her inheritance rights would be tantamount
to losing her brothers’ favor, her only recourse in case of severe
ill-treatment by her husband or divorce. The young bride enters her
husband’s household as an effectively dispossessed individual who
can establish her place in the patriliny only by producing male
The patrilineage totally appropriates both women’s labor and
progeny and renders their work and contribution to production
invisible. Woman’s life cycle in the patriarchally extended family is
such that the deprivation and hardship she experiences as a young
bride is eventually superseded by the control and authority she will
have over her own subservient daughters-in-law. The cyclical nature
of women’s power in the household and their anticipation of
inheriting the authority of senior women encourages a thorough
internalization of this form of patriarchy by the women themselves.
In classic patriarchy, subordination to men is offset by the control
older women attain over younger women. However, women have
access to the only type of labor power they can control, and to old-age
security, through their married sons. Since sons are a woman’s most
critical resource, ensuring their life-long loyalty is an enduring
preoccupation. Older women have a vested interest in the suppression
of romantic love between youngsters to keep the conjugal bond
secondary and to claim sons’ primary allegiance. Young women have
an interest in circumventing and possibly evading their mother-in-
law’s control. There are culturally specific examples of how this
struggle works to the detriment of the heterosexual bond (Boudhiba
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280 GENDER & SOCIETY / September 1988
1985; Johnson 1983; Mernissi 1975; M. Wolf 1972), but the overall
pattern is quite similar.
The class or caste impact on classic patriarchy creates additional
complications. Among the wealthier strata, the withdrawal of
women from nondomestic work is frequently a mark of status
institutionalized in various seclusion and exclusion practices, such as
the purdah system and veiling. The institution of purdah, and other
similar status markers, further reinforces women’s subordination and
their economic dependence on men. However, the observance of
restrictive practices is such a crucial element in the reproduction of
family status that women will resist breaking the rules, even if
observing them produces economic hardship. They forego economically advantageous options, such as the trading activities
engaged in by women in parts of Africa, for alternatives that are
perceived as in keeping with their respectable and protected domestic
roles, and so they become more exploitable. In her study of Indian
lacemakers in Narsapur, Mies (1982, p. 13) comments:
Although domestication of women may be justified by the older forms
of seclusion, it has definitely changed its character. The Kapu women
are no longer gosha-women of a feudal warrior caste-but do-
mesticated housewives and workers who produce for the world market.
In the case of the lacemakers this ideology has become almost a
material force. The whole system is built on the ideology that these
women cannot work outside the house.
Thus, unlike women in sub-Saharan Africa who attempt to resist
unfavorable labor relations in the household, women in areas of
classic patriarchy often adhere as far and as long as they possibly can
to rules that result in the unfailing devaluation of their labor. The
cyclical fluctuations of their power position, combined with status
considerations, result in their active collusion in the reproduction of
their own subordination. They would rather adopt interpersonal
strategies that maximize their security through manipulation of the
affections of their sons and husband. As M. Wolf’s (1972) insightful
discussion of the Chinese uterine family suggests, this strategy can
even result in the aging male patriarch losing power to his wife. Even
though these individual power tactics do little to alter the structurally
unfavorable terms of the overall patriarchal script, women become
experts in maximizing their own life chances.
Commenting on “female conservatism” in China, Johnson (1983,
p. 21) remarks: “Ironically, women through their actions to resist
passivity and total male control, became participants with vested
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