He outlined three distinct periods, each a progressive stage of social development. Most people learn this all too clearly if they find themselves in divorce court. But this was impossible as long as decent according to mother right prevailed.
With the introduction of cattle rearing, metallurgy, and cultivation, the social surplus rose considerably. As Engels described, once production shifted away from the household, the role of the family increasingly became one of privatized reproduction. In the classic patriarchal families of Rome or Greece, men were legally polygamous.
"16 Chris Harman has argued that apes, are genetically programmed in narrow ways that provide them with the behavior appropriate to a limited range of environments, while we [humans] are characterized precisely by an immense flexibility in our behavior that enables us, virtually alone in the animal world, to thrive on any part of the globe. The sexual division of labor in class society. Locating the source of womens oppression in class society in no way limits our understanding of the impact that it has had on the lives of individual women. His father, also called Friedrich, was a wealthy factory owner and expected his son to join the family business. They see the issue as a problem of 'men' and seek to solve the subordination of women from the viewpoint of sexual domination and not class. In others, men try to imitate womens reproductive powers. He relied primarily on Morgans data to evaluate non-Eurasian societies. Ed. E. Burke Leacock, op cit., p. 198. (Engels 171).
Hence, the beginnings of a "public" versus a "private" sphere, with women increasingly trapped in the household in property-owning families.
While the battle lines have been drawn around widely divergent points of view, socialists most often find themselves alone in challenging the assumption that womens oppression is due, to a greater or lesser extent, to mens long-standing need to dominate and oppress women.
For Engels the new wealth in domesticated animals meant that there was a surplus of goods available for exchange between productive units. This discovery inspired Morgan to study other societies, and, in so doing, he learned that other Native American societies located thousands of miles from the Iroquois used remarkably similar kinship structures. In reality, the whole basis of society is underpinned by how things are produced. This inherent equality of primitive society is confirmed by the evidence of surviving hunter-gather societies, such as the !Kung San of the Kalahari and others (the ! Friedrich Engels (1978), in his book entitled The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, discusses the history behind the formation as well as the function of the patriarchal family. “!Kung women walk more than 1500 miles a year with a suckling infant on their backs), but they are clearly equal to the task.
More importantly from a theoretical standpoint, Engels analysis of the family focused almost exclusively on the role of the ruling-class family. This is a caricature of Marxism, which assumes that Marxists only concern themselves with exploitation at the workplace. Until the womens movement of the late 1960s began to challenge male chauvinism, sexist assumptions provided the basis for broad generalizations. As Childe comments: "the vanquished need not have been exterminated. But "the family did not multiply so rapidly as the cattle. There can be no poor and needy - communistic households and the gens know their obligations towards the aged, the sick and those disabled in war.
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