Women Studies Project

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First Installment:

Defining the meaning of family and the structure of a family can vary from family to family. Engles believed that wealth caused the structure of family to enter into a patriarchal system. According to the lecture “ Family structures and juridical frameworks that define those structures were directed and influenced by the development of private property. While Folbre believed that the definition of family could vary according to whom it applies. According to the lecture “ She also makes clear that the family is at its heart an economic unit sharing resources.” While Folbre and Engles believed the meaning of family fell within their theory there are other writers that have similar and different ideas on how to define family. Michelle Blessing believes are very similar to Folbre theory on family. Blessing believed that the definition of family could change from person to person. According to the article “Meaning of Family” Blessing stated, “Families differ in terms of economic, cultural, social, and many other facets, but what every family has in common is that the people who call it a family are making clear that those people are important in some way to the person calling them his family.” While Arvonne Fraser ideas are very similar to the one of Engles. Yet Fraser explains that families are changing rapidly within the workforce causing women to become more dominant in their household. According to the article “The Changing American Family” Fraser states, “During the last 25 years women’s employment has increased by 30% or more in every age category up to age 55 while men’s employment has declined in every age group over age 25. This trend represents a profound shift in lifestyles and contradicts long-held cultural assumptions.” The twenty first century has showed a change in roles within in our society.


Fraser, A. S. (n.d.). The Changing American Family. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from http://www.context.org/iclib/ic21/fraser/
Blessing, M. (n.d.). Meaning of Family. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from http://family.lovetoknow.com/about-family-values/meaning-family

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