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Justice, Gender, and the Family

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In the first feminist critique of modern political theory, Okin shows how the failure to apply theories of justice to the family not only undermines our most cherished democratic values but has led to a major crisis over gender-related issues.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Basic Books (first published 1989)
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Paul Crider
Feb 22, 2016 Paul Crider rated it really liked it
In my review of Okin's Women in Western Political Thought I suggested that the book would be improved if it had more scope, if it discussed more philosophers. Justice, Gender, and the Family fulfills this wish, leaving me feeling a little silly. Okin here offers a similar feminist critique to a host of major recent philosophers from different ideologies (from conservatives through liberals) as she presented in WWPT. She asks "What would this theory of justice look like if it took women seriously ...more
Claire Haeg
Jul 13, 2011 Claire Haeg rated it liked it
A deep discursive critique (as well as an analytical framework for a critique) of liberal to communitarian theories of justice from a feminist standpoint. I don't think this is suitable for undergrads, however - they just don't have the background.
Jul 15, 2016 Ariane rated it it was amazing
All I can say about this book is that I absoutely loved it. Okin provides a broad, clear and insightful overlook of the role of gender in traditional political philosophy which helps understanding much better the role of women in politics and society. Her focus on the family is a relly helpful tool for understanding the private-public divide, and the way in which traditional gender roles within the private affect women in the public sphere. Finally, the conclusion hapter provides her own account ...more
May 18, 2013 Vaso rated it really liked it
In her book Susan Okin wishes to eliminate gender and promote gender neutrality, in an attempt to end gender-based discrimination. She proposes that the most effective discourse would be through education. According to her, sexist education and social norms perpetuate sexism. Okin’s concerns lie mostly in the private sphere; she takes issue with the lack of government consideration for the role of women in the family. She criticizes most political philosophies on the concept of justice for negle ...more
Jul 05, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it
Persuasively argues that the major Anglo-American philosophical theories of justice (Nozick, McIntyre, Walzer, Rawls, etc.) have failed to take gender and the family into account in any meaningful way. (Her criticisms of Nozick and McIntyre in particular seemed fairly devastating.) According to Okin, principles of justice have to be applied to the family because it is a major source of inequality between the sexes and because it's the place where children first learn what it means to be just. I ...more
Feb 15, 2012 Kurt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canon, parenting
Great book. Rethinks classic theories of justice through the lens of the reality of gender-unequal societies and, most importantly, family structures. I can't really say it better than Matt Yglesias does in his brief recommendation of the book:

Also, it provides a philosophic basis for equally shared parenting. But it doesn't stop there, it also provides larger policy prescriptions for remedying some of the lingering problems of inequality.
Alex Robertson
May 06, 2015 Alex Robertson rated it liked it
I love Susan Moller Okin!
Jul 13, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it

As an undergrad I read this in conjunction with other texts in a class meant to inform the grounding of human rights. This was one of the easier texts to read we read. Okin writes clearly and the book is concise. It would seem necessary for those interested to first read Kymlicka as some of her most salient points are critiquing his views on multiculturalism.
Dec 14, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
A must read for any political philosopher. I should have read this a long time ago--don't make the same mistake.
Ft. Sheridan
Jan 02, 2009 Ft. Sheridan rated it it was amazing
Backhanding everyone with feminist critique.
Nov 12, 2010 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
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