Monday, January 24, 2011

Nevertheless, for all its power to affect beliefs and circumstances, class stratification did not supersede sex stratification. The routine assignment of women to the classes of their husbands and fathers by contemporaries and social scientists has reflected women's subordination within patriarchal society and the fact of their primary identification by sex. Yet, since no model of social stratification exists that takes into account both the relationship of women and men within the family and the results of the unequal ownership of the means of production, there is no easy alternative to identifying wives and husbands as members of the same class. Thus, while class designation may sometimes be useful, it remains a fundamentally imperfect method of indicating a woman's relationship to a capitalist male hierarchy. Accordingly, in this volume, the terms "working class" and "middle class" should be regarded as a guide to the status and power of women's families rather than as a reliable measure of women's ability to command resources or to share in full the values of male capitalist society.
- from The New Day Recalled: Lives of Girls and Woman in English Canada, 1919-1939 by Veronica Strong-Boag

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