Productive Men, Reproductive Women: The Agrarian Household and the Emergence of Separate Spheres during the German Enlightenment

TitleProductive Men, Reproductive Women: The Agrarian Household and the Emergence of Separate Spheres during the German Enlightenment
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsGray, Marion
Number of Pages370
PublisherBerghahn Books
CityNew York
Abstract

The scholarly discussion on the origins of modern gender norms continues unabated across the academic disciplines. Focusing on rural life and its values, the author argues that the modern ideal of separate spheres originated in the era of the Enlightenment. Prior to the eighteenth century, cultural norms prescribed active, interdependent economic roles for both women and men. Enlightenment economists transformed these gender paradigms as they postulated a market exchange system directed exclusively by men. By the early nineteenth century, the emerging bourgeois value system affirmed the new civil society and the market place as exclusively male realms. These standards defined women's options largely as marriage and motherhood.

Short TitleProductive Men, Reproductive Women
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40723777

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