Patten Lecture: Nancy Folbre: "The Political Economy of Patriarchal Systems"
"The Political Economy of Patriarchal Systems"
Nancy Folbre is Professor Emerita of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the new Director of the Political Economy Research Institute’s Program on Gender and Care Work. A distinguished social scientist, Professor Folbre’s research explores the intersections of political economy and feminist theory, with a focus on caring work and other forms of non-market work. Her work on female labor force issues and the economics of family care has advanced the discipline of economics and broadened its scope to investigate a topic that has implications for all members of society. Indeed, her scholarship has prompted a fundamental reevaluation of the way economists, sociologists, and other social scientists think about the meaning of labor and about the linkage between family and the economy.
In “The Political Economy of Patriarchal Systems”, Folbre examines feminist efforts to theorize the emergence and evolution of gender inequality no longer invoke some abstract, a-historical “patriarchy.” Rather, they explore the co-evolution of many distinct patriarchies with other hierarchical structures of constraint, emphasizing intersecting forms of inequality based, for instance, on class, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and hetero-normativity. In this presentation, I argue that economic theory offers some important analytical tools for this exploration, providing a framework for analyzing the interplay of social structure and individual choice. In particular, I explain how game theory, bargaining models, and concepts of exploitation can enrich the emerging interdisciplinary paradigm of feminist theory.
The William T. Patten Foundation
The William T. Patten Foundation provides funds to bring distinguished scholars or practitioners in the sciences, the humanities and the arts to the Bloomington campus for a week. The foundation has brought over 150 scholars of extraordinary national and international distinction since 1937, making it the oldest lecture series at Indiana University. Lecturers are chosen by a campus-wide faculty committee.
William T. Patten graduated in 1893 with a Bachelor of Arts in history from IU. He then moved to Indianapolis and led a successful career in real estate and politics. He created an endowment for the university in 1931, with the purpose of bringing renowned leaders to the Bloomington campus.