Gender And The Politics Of History Essay

1169 Words Oct 29th, 2015 5 Pages
Historians using gender as a categorical tool of historical analysis have won prizes from Organization of American Historians and American Historical Association such as Joan Scott and Kathleen Brown. In 1986, Joan Wallach Scott published her groundbreaking article, Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” In this article, Scott asserts that gender had not been previously used a conceptual framework like race and class and should be used by historians to examine their subjects. Scott’s article is a part of a larger study of gender published in her book, Gender and the Politics of History. This book rallies historians to break away from biologically constructed notions of what it means to be male and female and what their sex-roles are and should be. Utilizing the works of theorists such as Michel Foucault (whom she is largely influenced by), women historians like Natalie Zemon Davis and Joan Kelly, and British historians such as E.P Thompson, Scott makes a compelling and convincing argument that gender is a viable field in history or a “useful category of historical analysis.” As well put together as Scott’s volume is, she does not lack an assumption. In chapter a chapter on the English working class, Scott takes E.P Thompson to task for excluding class from his discussion on class in a 1963 article. However, what Scott fails to mention is that when the women’s movement began it did not have a gender perspective either. It was not until 1965 that women’s history…

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