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International Socialism, July 1978


Irene Bruegel

What keeps the family going?


From International Socialism, 2:1, July 1978, pp. 2–15.
Transcribed by Christian Hogsbjerg.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The ideas of the women’s liberation movement have shaken traditional revolutionary politics over the last few years. Whereas at one time the accepted wisdom of groups like the International Socialists was that women were only important in the fight for socialism in that they formed an increasing part of the paid labour force, today revolutionary groups generally lay emphasis on the family as a key institution in both the oppression of women and the maintenance of capitalism as a system [1] [2]

But to recognise that the family is central to women’s oppression—as both Marxist and non-marxist feminists do—still leaves open major questions on the strategy for women’s liberation. Foremost amongst these are the questions: What keeps the family going? How far is the family as we know it immutable? What aspects are subject to change? The relationship between the fight for women’s liberation and the fight for Socialism depends on answers to these questions.

Two kinds of answers are currently being offered. The first, usually dubbed feminist, lays emphasis on patriarchy, i.e. male domination, as the root of women’s oppression and therefore as the sustaining force of the oppressive (patriarchal) family. The second, which is more often associated with marxists, sees capitalist relations of production as maintaining the family. The first will be called the patriarchal analysis in what follows and the second a marxist-functionalist analysis, since it tends to lay stress on the functions which the family performs for capitalism.

What I intend to argue is that both these approaches are partial and unsatisfactory. The logic of the patriarchal analysis is to separate the struggle for liberation from the struggle for socialism; it fails to explain the basis of patriarchy, and particularly to relate male domination to a material base. The marxist functionalist analysis on the other hand, in seeing the family maintained directly and unambiguously by capitalism, tends to reduce the fight for women’s liberation to the fight for socialism. In so doing it fails to recognise how far the family, as currently organised, in many ways reflects the interests of the male working class under capitalism.


The argument for a patriarchal analysis of women’s oppression is put strongly by Juliet Mitchell [3], Millet [4] and Firestone. [5] Mitchell argues that ‘the overthrow of capitalism does not mean the overthrow of patriarchal ideology’ precisely because that patriarchal ideology is seen as timeless, autonomous from any given mode of production. What Firestone and Mitchell are trying to do is extend marxist analysis to cover not just antagonisms between social classes but also the relationship between the sexes, which is treated as a class relation. Engels did in fact write that

‘The first class opposition ... coincides with the development of the antagonism between men and women in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincided with that of the female sex by the male’ [6] (p. 69)

This is taken by these writers to mean that the first class oppression was that of the female sex by the male rather than that the oppression of women is contingent on the development of social class. Male domination is not seen as historically specific. Rather, the first class antagonism is viewed as stemming from some ‘natural’ universal attribute of men (’aggression’ or physical prowess) or of women (usually the biological capacity of bear children). But if such biology is universal and immutable, the only way to overcome women’s oppression would be separatism, castration or, in the last analysis ‘gender-cide’.

If patriarchy is indeed necessarily universal there is no possibility of any significant liberation and no way forward at all.

Such an argument is of course belied by history. While it is true to say that most known societies have been and are patriarchal, the form and content of that patriarchy and its impact on the lives of women have been very different. [7] To say that male domination has been universal neither proves it is unchanging, nor that it can never be overcome while women live in society with men. The example of Russia, which is frequently used as an example to back up this type of argument, is of course no evidence at all. The concept of an autonomous patriarchal ideology is used as a convenient let out for feminist Communist Party members. Their belief that the USSR has a socialist mode of production requires a theory of an autonomous patriarchal mode of reproduction, to account for the very real oppression of women there. [8]

Rather than treat patriarchy as a phenomenon independent of the relations of production, an understanding of women’s oppression and how to overcome it, requires an understanding of how the male domination, manifest in any given society, is specifically related to the mode of production. That is, how far is male domination as experienced simply a hangover of traditional ideas which could be overcome by education and how far is it rooted in the very material base of the society? An account which treats patriarchy as a unitary autonomous entity tells us little about the conditions for overcoming male domination. Very often it seems to amount to an exhortation to confront ‘ideology’ in an abstract and idealist way. [9]

From the concept of an autonomous patriarchy follows the independence of the struggle for women’s liberation for that for socialism. Just as the working class organises to overthrow the capitalist mode of production so women are to be organised to overthrow the patriarchal mode of reproduction [9]

This approach does not go unchallenged within the women’s movement. There is an ongoing debate on the concept of an autonomous patriarchy, delineating the form and extent of the separation of patriarchy from the mode of production. And therefore, too, there exists an ongoing debate on the autonomy of the women’s movement. Is it to be an autonomous political movement, a social movement or a propagandistic force alone?

The Marxist/functionalist analysis

The alternate explanation for the maintenance of the family form of reproduction is that the family form as it exists is functional to capitalism as a system [1] [10]. From this it can be argued that (a) women’s liberation is not possible under capitalism and (b) socialism, without guaranteeing liberation, makes it possible.

In bare outline the argument is valid. But as a basis for a strategy for women’s liberation it is totally inadequate, failing to confront the extent to which male domination and sex role differentiation, and not just the family form of reproduction are structural to capitalism. While cast in a marxist mould it takes no account of Marx and Engels analysis of how capitalism tends to destroy the proletarian family. This, however, has important implications for understanding the role that the family structure does in fact play in maintaining women’s oppression.

Although earlier writers concentrated on showing how the family was functional for capitalism in performing an ideological role of maintaining authority structures and stability, the thrust of more recent writing, particularly in the domestic labour debate [10], [11], is to show how capital benefits materially from the privatised form of reproduction which is the traditional family. The argument is discussed below. But even if capital does benefit directly from reproduction being organised through the private family, this does not establish that the family is functional for capital in all its aspects.

The criticism being made here of the functional analysis of the family is that it barely distinguishes one aspect of the family from another. The concept of the ‘family’ is wide ranging. In everyday life what is understood by the term family incorporates a number of dimensions; including (a) a privatised form of reproduction (b) monogamous sexual relationships (c) stable, life-long coupling (d) distinct sex roles (e) a hierarchical power structure.

To show that one such aspect is functional for capitalism, does not establish that changes in other dimensions are not indeed possible within capitalism. Over the last generation the traditional hierarchical power structure has in fact been undermined, so too have the constraints on extra marital sex for women. The idea that ‘capitalism cannot abolish the family’ because the family is functional for the system still leaves open the possibility of changes within the family which could alter women’s situation in significant ways.

The specific problem with the functional analysis as it has recently been presented is that all it could ever establish is that capitalism benefits from the privatised form of reproduction, or domestic labour, but not that capitalism needed women to perform that function. In other words, there is nothing within this particular argument which shows that it is not possible for men and women to share the domestic work equally, or even for men to take it over. To show that privatised reproduction is necessary for capitalism is not to show that distinct sex roles and a hierarchical power structure within the family, are necessary. Therefore it is quite consistent within this analysis to see a drive for more equal work sharing within the home as a central strategy for women’s liberation. The problem with the functional account as put forward by the domestic labour school and by Joan Smith is that it fails to explain adequately why male domination persists.

The functional analysis is also inadequate in that it highlights only one side of the relationship between capitalism as a system and the family as the particular form of reproduction. It is, of course, correct to point to the way capitalism does attempt to maintain the family but this should not be at the expense of Marx and Engels’ analysis of the tendency of capitalism to destroy the family in its process of self expansion. Ann Foreman [12], Veronica Beechey [13] and Jane Humphries [14] all point in one way or other to the argument that the unbridled expansion of the productive forces of capital would bring privatised domestic production fully into capitalism’s sphere by transforming that use value production into commodity production.

This is both a question of the continued expansion of the market and of the incessant drive for an increase in the rate of surplus value. The lower the value of labour power (that is the amount of labour required in the production of the commodities consumed in the process of reproduction of labour power) the higher the rate of surplus value, other things being equal.

Mandel points to the first tendency. He observes that

‘When the former housewife joins the mass of wage labourers, she increases the mass of social surplus value produced, and thereby expands the field of commodity production and capital accumula­tion. If part of these additionally produced commodities are bought with her additional wages, to replace formerly unpaid labour services she performed in the household, this is all to the advantage for capitalism, as it facilitiates profit realisation and expanded reproduction.’ [15] (p. 393)

But it isn’t just a question of the mass of surplus value being increased by taking women out of domestic work into commodity production. The rate of surplus value might also be increased.

There are two contradictory arguments about the effect on the value of labour power of taking women out of domestic labour. The marxist/functionalist account, particularly the domestic labour theorists argue that domestic labour keeps the value of labour power down. Insofar as households have to purchase more commodities on the market as less unpaid domestic work is performed, so the value of labour power would rise.

This exercise in comparative statistics ignores Marx’s observation of historical processes, that:

’The value of labour time was determined, not only by the labour time necessary to maintain the individual adult labourer, but also that necessary to maintain his family. Machinery by throwing every member of that family on to the labour-market spreads the value of the man’s labour power over his whole family. It thus depreciates his labour power... capital for the purpose of its self expansion has usurped the labour necessary in the home of the family’. [1] [11] (p. 395)

That is, as women are brought into commodity production, the socially determined value of labour power declines, becoming only the value of the means of subsistence necessary to reproduce the individual labourer (and his or her immediate replacement) rather: than that necessary for the family as a whole. Marx argues that

‘the sum of the means of subsistence necessary for the production of labour power must include the means necessary for the worker’s replacement’s i.e. his children’ [16] (p. 172)

and points out that wages may be driven below that replacement value only for short periods.

But while capital has to make provision for the individual labourer to be replaced in the course of time, there is no necessity for the subsistence of the individual labourer to include the subsistence costs of a wife. Historically subsistence wages may fall so as to cover only the cost of individual reproduction. The value of labour power is then lower, and the rate of surplus value higher, than where subsistence implies maintaining a wife as a domestic worker.

Even if one accepts the domestic labour theorists’ argument that unpaid domestic work does tend to keep wage costs down, countervailing tendencies are also apparent. The net effect of taking women out of domestic work into self sufficiency could well be to reduce the value of labour power. (See the Appendix)

If this is the case then assuming that the overriding interest of the capitalist is to keep down the value of labour power, far from the maintenance of domestic labour being functional for capitalism, the tendency would be towards the disintegration of the proletarian family as the unit of reproduction.

There is ample evidence of such tendencies; Marx and Engels both describe in graphic terms the break down of the proletarian family in 19th century Britain.

‘The employment of the wife dissolves the family utterly and of necessity, and this dissolution in our present society, which is based on the family, brings the most demoralising consequences for parents as well as children ... The children who grow up under such conditions are utterly ruined for later family life ... and they contribute therefore to the already general undermining of the family in the working class.’ [17] (p. 172)

Nor is that tendency to destroy the cohesion of the family invisible today; the German ‘Gastarbeiter’ system, for example, rests on providing only for the costs of individual reproduction within the heartlands of capitalism, leaving generational reproduction largely to the subsistence economy.

So the central economic argument of a functional account of the maintenance of the family, that it is cheaper for capitalism to reproduce the labour force in a system of privatised reproduction appears faulty. To argue that the family is the cheapest means of reproducing labour power obscures a whole series of questions about the nature and quality of the labour power being produced. Apart from the fact that privatised reproduction implies a financially dependent wife whose subsistence has be be covered in the male wage, it is only cheaper to reproduce labour in the home under certain severe assumptions.

Home production must be able to provide the quality of service deemed necessary; if the quality of education or health care were completely immaterial then it would indeed be cheaper to transfer all those aspects of reproduction from the State back to the family. But the quality is not immaterial, either to capital in general or indeed to the working class and so, given the quality demanded, it is not cheaper to provide for those aspects of reproduction within the family.

It is indeed at present cheaper in money terms to provide for pre-school childcare through unpaid domestic labour but it is not intrinsically cheaper. Child care is technologically backward, requiring a high proportion of staff to children for good care. Again it is the qualitative aspects, what sorts of inputs are socially determined to be necessary for any given process of reproduction—which determine how reproduction is organised, not financial cost as such. This is not to deny that the capitalist state does constantly try to offload certain of the costs of social service provision on to working class families. But an account of the family form of reproduction as functional for capitalism because it is financially cheaper to provide for young children within the family will not stand up to scrutiny. All it really explains is that mothers or at least some members of the family stays at home to look after young children, not why families endure well beyond that.

An alternative analysis

Having criticised the two current accounts of the persistence of the family as partial, it is clear that some sort of synthesis is required. Such a synthesis needs both to provide an adequate explanation for male domination within capitalism and to come to terms with the contradictory relationship between capitalism and the family which has been alluded to above.

Male domination under capitalism needs explanation. We have already rejected any approaches which pose some universal attribute of men or women to account for the current relation between the sexes but what of the standard marxist explanation given by Engels? Engels argued that women’s oppression and the monogamous family stemmed from the institution of private property and arose with the development of the state. As men held property so they would be driven to ensure a line of inheritance, which in the absence of reliable contraception, could only be achieved by tying women to the monogamous family.

How then does this apply to the proletariat, which by definition owns no property? Capitalism created a propertyless class for whom a monogamous family appears to have no material basis. Indeed Marx and Engels saw capitalism as destroying the proletarian family—only the bourgeois family had a material basis in the need to ensure inheritance.

Thus the picture is often drawn of male domination within the working class as some sort of free floating ideology, a set of false ideas which are either hangovers from a pre-capitalist era or ruling class ideas adopted by the working class independently of material interests. Of course ideas and traditions do persist outside of the material context in which they are first formed, but if all male domination within the working class family amounted to was a set of false ideas, then education and consciousness raising should bring women’s liberation within the home and through that the possibility of equality outside.

Ann Foreman’s analysis of ‘femininity as alienation’ provides the beginnings of an alternative account of male domination within capitalism. She argues that femininity—female passivity, acceptance and loving helpfulness—is created, not just individually as each girl is brought up, but much more fundamentally as a social construct, a necessary counterpoint to the alienation of labour under capitalism. Male domination existed before capitalism but its form was different, a more direct control of women’s lives through the kinship system. Under capitalism the relationship between the sexes is changed, what structures it now are the alienated relations of production of capitalism and not the property relations of the pre-capitalist era.

Thus the relations of dominance and subservience ‘normally’ found between men and women are not individual quirks but are structured into capitalism.

Ann Foreman writes

‘with the beginnings of commodity production another qualitative shift took place in the relations between men and women ... The alienation of labour at the heart of commodity production set up the divide between industry and the family and in the latter, the relation of subjectivity and alterity between men and women ... The family ... became the reference point for individuality and personal identity became imbued with the attitudes of masculinity and femininity ...’ [12] (p. 106)

‘Men’s objectification within industry, through the expropriation of the product of their labour, takes the form of alienation ... Men seek relief from their alienation through their relations with women; for women there is no relief.’ [12] (p. 102)

This is an argument about gender attributes, rather than biology. With the development of commodity production women were increasingly excluded from the economy, often by men using their political power to close trades to women. [18] As a result of this and the problems of combining wage labour with child rearing, (particularly breast feeding), the split between the economy and the family increasingly took the form of a split between a male and a female realm. Those who were biologically female developed the attributes that we associate with femininity, in order to sustain the male realm of wage labour.

Historically the development of femininity has a biological basis in the link between child bearing and child care, but today with the development of contraception etc. there is no necessary relation between being biologically female and being feminine. It is possible, to conceive of heterosexual relationships where the pattern of masculinity/femininity is reversed such that a ‘biological’ man is in effect the ‘feminine’ partner, sustaining a biologically female ‘masculine’ partner. In practice, of course, this happens rarely, because of the way we are all socialised. Such socialisation ensures that when women do enter wage labour they do so with all the attributes of femininity.

It is precisely the gender attributes of femininity which are oppressive of women and it is these which are maintained by capitalist relations of production. The relations between men and women within the family are neither rigidly determined by biological or psychological constants nor are they under the control of the individual. Rather, they are structured by capitalism but structured in such a way that conflict and contradiction still abound.

Anne Foreman’s thesis that relationships within the family are structured by the alienation of the labour process under capitalism can in fact be taken further. Given the alienation of wage labour, the reproduction of labour power under capitalism requires not just physical but psychological and/or emotional regeneration as well. It may be that such regeneration requires individualised personalised care, which cannot be replaced within capitalism by impersonal state provision, short of breaking down the resistance and humanity of the working class.

It is not cost as such which inhibits the further socialisation of reproduction so much as the inability of state or market services to provide the emotional support necessary given the alienated social relations of capitalism. Thus from the point of view of the working class under capitalism, the subsistence wage must be sufficient to provide each worker (and his replacements) with a service worker (or in Engels’ terms a domestic slave) to organise the process of reproduction and to hold the family together as an emotional unit. Thus the subsistence wage of the man should include not simply the costs of rearing children but also the subsistence costs of a wife to maintain the family. Hence the drive within the labour movement in the 19th century and after, for the male wage to be a family wage.

Working class men never succeed as a whole in raising the wage level sufficiently to cover the costs of a dependent wife to provide for personal servicing; either marriage was delayed or married women were forced to seek paid work.

More recently state services in the form of the ‘social wage’ were developed to help maintain the family. Nevertheless the point remains that, in the face of capital’s drive to reduce the value of labour power down to the reproduction costs of the individual worker the working class saw its interests in the establishment of the male wage as the family wage and the creation of a financially dependent housewife. In short its interests lay in the maintenance of the family.

The result of this was that the labour movement largely concurred with the structuring of the labour force into a ‘primary’ male sector and a ‘secondary’ female sector. [19] If women could be restricted to certain, more marginal, sectors of employment then the competitive threat posed by cheap female labour could be more easily contained. In this way the contradictory interests of capital and the working class (or at least the male, organised part of it) appear to have converged at the expense of women.

Capitalism exploits the differentiation of the sexes. It does this by differentiating between ‘men’s work’ and ‘women’s work’, using women both as cheap labour for employment in the more marginal and insecure jobs, and as a reserve army of labour. While capitalism will seek to extend commodity production to bring all labour under its sway, the implications of bringing all available labour power into employment isthat wages rise and profits fall. No reserve army is left to keep wage levels to subsistence.

Thus it is in the interests of capitalism as a system to sustain sex role differentiation and the family as a reservoir of potential (latent) labour power. Capitalism structures the labour force along sex lines, because it also tends at the same time to destroy the family, the working class movement has accepted and even promoted such differentiation, precisely to preserve the family.

But while the argument put by Jane Humphries [14] that working class interests lay with the maintenance of the family is tenable to a point, it is not correct to argue as she does that it was only the working class which maintained the family. Rather it is that capitalism maintains the family in part through the perceived interests of the working class. The relationship of capitalism to the family is contradictory: it tends both to destroy it and maintain it. As a means of expanding the forces of production, capitalism tends to take over many of the productive and reproductive functions of the family; as a means of preserving capitalist relations of production, it tends to reinforce the traditional family, increasingly, as Joan Smith points out, through the state.

The relationship of the working class to the family is also contradictory. While the male working class identified its interests with the maintenance of the family, this does not mean that the interests of the working class as a whole lie in that direction. Far from it. The expressed interests of the working class have been those of working class men quite simply because women have, through femininity, subordinated their interests to those of men.

The family provides both men and women in very different ways with a sense of identity and meaning which the alienation of commodity production denies them. For women this identity is objectively oppressive since it requires them to submerge themselves and their needs in those of the family. The family is only a haven insofar as it is also a cage for the woman. With these contradictions, it is no wonder that individual marriages and families ‘fail’.

Certain methodological and strategic conclusions can be drawn from this analysis. The first point which needs to be made in the wake of marxist/functionalist analyses of the family is that we are dealing with tendencies which resolve themselves in contradictory ways rather than with one dimensional functions. Capitalism both tends to destroy the family and to maintain it; and in this contradiction lies the conflicting pressures on women and working class women particularly, which render the situation fluid and not determined.

While capitalism tends to develop the attributes of femininity in women, it cannot succeed unambiguously in turning women into passive creatures, partly because it also requires’ their active involvement at certain times and places. While the family is cast as a haven against the vicissitudes of the world of market relations, it cannot succeed entirely in containing the contradictions of capitalism, because capitalism tends itself to undermine that very haven, through its failure in particular to provide the social necessities of a decent home and a secure income that the concept of a haven implies.

The contradictions are particularly raw for working class women. They are caught by the demand to provide a decent home, and a supportive environment, a full personal and private life to counter the increasing meaninglessness of manual work. Lacking the material means to do so they are forced to enter wage labour themselves. Yet for them, unlike for many highly educated middle class women, that work has no intrinsic satisfactions; for them as Ann Foreman points out ‘there is no relief. The family is not structured to be supportive of them, rather it is structured to tie them to a marginal position in the labour force. While the ideas of the women’s movement have not been directed at working class women, it is no wonder that these contradictions need to be resolved (if that is the word) individually, through depression, taking it out on the children and worse.

If the argument put forward above is correct, that femininity itself is oppressive, then a strategy for women’s liberation must involve the attempt to break down femininity here and now. This makes the self organisation of working class women, the gaining of self confidence and the breaking down of passivity not just a pragmatic question of how to get women involved on the same ‘level’ as men, but more fundamentally a means of confronting one of the structures that tie us all to capitalism.

If femininity does help to dissipate the will to organise against the system by providing most men with their own private haven, then the fight for women’s liberation on the part of socialists isn’t just a numerical question, that women form 50 per cent or more of the working class. It is a question that the fight for liberation from femininity and from male supremacy in the home, here and now, is an important part of the fight for socialism. The hegemony of capitalism is maintained in part through the structures of the family; to carry through the destruction of the former involves at the same time, as a precondition, a break with the latter.

The argument of this article is that the immediate interests of working class women are distinct in many respects from those of working class men.

These interests are submerged just as women are submerged. Therefore it follows that women need to organise for their interests within the institutions of the working class. Otherwise, if women are organised in a ‘separatist’ way or as individuals without reference to sex, the working class interests which are articulated whether in a reformist or revolutionary context, will continue to be the interests of working class men. If that is the case the oppression of women within the family will never be adequately confronted, to the long run detriment of all.

Appendix: Domestic Labour and the Production of Surplus Value

Any attempt to assess the relative effects on the value of labour power of (a) unpaid housework and (b) the subsistence costs of a dependent wife is fraught with difficulties.

The early versions of the domestic labour theory argued that domestic work involved surplus labour, that is that the value of domestic work performed exceeded the housewife’s subsistence costs. The problem is to give meaning to the concept of the value of domestic labour, to be able to establish what is socially necessary labour, what is ‘surplus labour’ in domestic work, given that domestic labour, by definition, is not market labour. Thus to show that women work long hours at housework is neither to show that they perform surplus labour nor that the effect of unpaid domestic work is to reduce the value of labour power.

Bearing in mind the limitations of the analysis, some comparison of the relative effects on the value of labour power of transforming housewives into self sufficient wage labourers can perhaps be made. Supposing that we can take the subsistence costs of a family of four to be £60 a week, made up of £20 for each adult and £10 for each of 2 children. Suppose, too, that the male wage earner produces £120 worth of commodities a week for his boss.

Then taking the variable cost, v, the value of labour power, to be the cost of reproducing the whole family, the capitalist would earn a rate of surplus value on the man’s labour of (120−60)/60 = 100%.

The less domestic work provides a substitute for commodities purchased on the market, the higher subsistence costs would be. Let us assume that the woman reduces her domestic work to such a degree that to maintain the present standard of living, the value of commodities purchased on the market rises to £30 per adult, £15 per child, making a total of £90 for the family. (In other words, the contribution of her domestic work foregone can be ‘valued’ at £30).

So one effect of women becoming self-sufficient—ceasing to do domestic work for a family—would be that surplus value would fall. In this case from 100 per cent to (120−90)/90 = 33%.

But this takes no account of capital’s tendency to drive down the value of labour power to the bare minimum reproduction cost of the individual plus substitute. With the woman as self sufficient, the value of the man’s labour power is £45 (the reproduction cost of one individual adult and one child) not £90. The value of the women’s labour power, likewise is £45. If the woman wage labourer produces the same value of commodities as the man, then the surplus value the capitalist could gain from each worker would be (120−45)/45 = 166%.

Thus the net effect is a rise in the rate of surplus value from 100 to 166 per cent as the domestic worker becomes a wage labourer and the whole basis of the determination of the value of labour power changes.

Therefore, even on this rather limited static analysis the domestic labour argument is open to question. Only if the purchase of commodities necessary for reproduction doubled with a shift from the family to the individual form of reproduction, is the net effect of having women as housewives an increase in the rate of surplus value.


1. Joan Smith, Women and the Family, Part 1, International Socialism 100; Part 2, International Socialism 104.

2. Revolution and Women’s Liberation, Socialist Challenge, 9 March 1978.

3. Juliet Mitchell, Women’s Estate, Penguin 1971; Psychoanalysis and Feminism, Penguin 1975.

4. Kate Millet, Sexual Politics, Abacus 1972.

5. Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex, Cape 1971.

6. F. Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Lawrence and Wishart 1940.

7. E. Zaretsky, Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life, Pluto 1976.

8. Tamara Volkova, A Woman’s Place in the USSR, IMG 1975.

9. Christine Delphy, The Main Enemy, WRRC Explorations in Feminism.

10. Conference of Socialist Economists, Political Economy of Women, Stage One 1976.

11. S. Himmelweit and S. Mohun, Domestic Labour and Capital, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 1977

12. Ann Foreman, Femininity as Alienation, Pluto 1977.

13. Veronica Beechey, Notes on Female Wage Labour, Capital and Class, 3, 1977.

14. Jane Humphries, Class struggle and the persistence of the working class family, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 1977.

15. E. Mandel, Late Capitalism, NLB 1975

16. K. Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Lawrence and Wishart 1970.

17. F. Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844, Panther 1969.

18. S. Rowbotham, Hidden from History, Pluto 1973.

19. Barron and Norris, Sexual Divisions and the Dual Labour Market, in Barker and Allen (eds.), Dependence and Exploitation in Work and Marriage.

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