Complex equality: beyond equality and difference?

Armstrong, Chris (2002) Complex equality: beyond equality and difference? Feminist Theory, 3, (1), 67-82. (doi:10.1177/1460012002003001066).


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Equality has become a highly controversial concept within feminism, not least because standard egalitarian accounts have been accused of neglecting both difference and also issues of real concern to feminists, such as the structure of the 'domestic' sphere, contexts of power, and responsibility for domestic work. Michael Walzer's theory of 'complex equality' promises a commitment to equality that deploys a much broader analytical focus, and yet is sensitive to difference. As such, it merits attention from feminists. In this article, I will begin to investigate the possibilities offered by this theory, by examining the positions it can generate on issues of domestic work and decision-making power. It will be my contention that Walzer's own position on these issues is a little abbreviated, but that a distinctive and worthwhile account can be developed merely by applying arguments he has advanced elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/1460012002003001066
ISSNs: 1464-7001 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: division of labour, domestic work, egalitarianism, power, walzer
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 34913
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 17 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:02

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