Defintion and related termsThis is a featured page Patriarchal bargains
In 1988, Kandiyoti first defined patriarchal bargain as the existence of a set rules and scripts regulating gender relations, to which both genders accommodate and acquiesce, yet which may nonetheless be contested, redefined, and renegotiated. According to this definition, patriarchal bargain is being used as a noun. Meanwhile, Kandiyoti also initiated another term Bargain with Patriarchy, which refers to a dynamic process in which women find strategies to renegotiate and reconfigure the existing patriarchal rules or scripts (patriarchal bargains) so as to improve their position. No doubt this phrase is a verbal one. For the purpose of pursing accuracy, these two terms should be distinguished from each other.

But many scholars have drawn on Kandiyoti’s work and used patriarchal bargain to describe ways in which women negotiate for more rights and higher status. In other words, Patriarchal bargains means Bargain with Patriarchy. Examples of such cases are Catholic nuns in the USA negotiating with the patriarchal order over autonomy and status (Ebaugh 1993); Korean immigrant women negotiating with their husbands over cooperation in the household (Lim 1997); women dealing with spiritual authority in Kano, Nigeria over rights and privileges (Huston 2001) and so on. Mookherjee (2005) also understands it as how women “strategize” when confronted with severe constraints in patriarchal societies. In addition, Prof Eric Thompson denotes patriarchal bargains as the ways in which women negotiate patriarchal conditions, either in terms of negotiating specific relationships with men or more generally negotiating their position vis-a-vis broader social and cultural structures.

Furthermore, some scholars even paraphrase Deniz Kandiyoti’s “patriarchal bargain”. See Cynthia Cockburn’s (2004) "ethnic bargain” which represents the power relation in any given society that establishes an initial social differentiation by ethnicity, and in which the disadvantaged groups will provide service to the dominant group in exchange for patronage or protection. Also Amalia Sa’ar (2005) uses the term “liberal bargain” referring to the process whereby members of oppressed groups become identified with the hegemonic order to a certain degree.

Over time, the original meaning of patriarchal bargains has undergone some transformation and has adopted to varying usage in adapting to different situations. However, what remains unchanged is that between women and men, women are always in a weaker and lower position in the bargaining system; as a result, the bargaining process is a quite difficult and excruciating for them. Power
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Max Weber (1922) first defined Power as “the chance of a man or a group of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action.” In other words, power is not something one can hold in one’s pocket or hand, but is something operating between two groups. Foucault also argued that ‘Power is a property of group life and social conditions; not a property of individuals.’ To some extent this viewpoint contradicts our daily usage of power. Because in everyday life, people usually say someone is powerful. But to think deeply, he/she is not the power holder; by and large, it is the dynamic social cultural system or the specific position one works in that constitutes the power. In other terms, anyone in this position will symbolize the power since power is connected with the distinctive social roles. Thus, the individual is just the agent who practices power. Try to put this in the gender area, especially patriarchy societies, women lack power, but men are in power everywhere, whereas individual men are not in power.

In Marxian language, those resources a group must appropriate in order to gain control over others can be divided into three kinds: means of production (based on economic power), means of violence (relates to political power), and means of interpretation (considered as ideological power). This tripartite classification can be found in Cambridge dictionary of sociology. Based on Marx’s theory, Mann (1986) added military power into these resources though some people identify it the same as political power. To apply this quadruple classification into analysis, power is really gendered. Women get less access to economic field or suffer gender wag gap in comparison to men (see Weida’s gender wage gap pages) and are advocated to stay in private sphere; as a result, they to some extent depend on men for a living. That is to say, men have more economic power than women. Furthermore, men always have influential impact in the political world; while few women participate in politics (refer to Lina’s Women's Political Participation pages). Additionally, a great many society are male-dominant, men’s viewpoints and opinions are accepted as the main content of social culture. Finally, as to the military field, women are always marginalized. All in all, men are the powerful and dominant, in sharp contrast, women are powerless and subordinate. Relationship between patriarchal bargains and power
The two terms-patriarchal bargain and power are neither separate nor work individually, they interact with each other. In patriarchy societies, men are always powerful while women are powerless. As Michel Foucault said, where there is power, there is resistance. Also the Cambridge dictionary of sociology demonstrates that in Weberian framework, the concept of power implied the possibility of resistance. No matter Foucault or Weber, anyway, the group possesses power would probably have to face the resistance of the powerless group. So here comes women's patriarchal bargains aiming at achieving more power.

go to 1.1.2 comment on sexual-exchange theory
go to 1.2 other theoretical framework
back to main page

Latest page update: made by g0800315 , Nov 12 2008, 2:42 AM EST (about this update About This Update g0800315 Moved from: Definitions and related terms - g0800315

No content added or deleted.

- complete history)
Keyword tags: None
More Info: links to this page
There are no threads for this page.  Be the first to start a new thread.