The Sociology of Sexual Polarity
Walker, Gavin B.
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This thesis presents an attempt to create a general approach to the sexes in society through the sociology of Max Weber. This falls into three main sections: a consideration of methodological issues; a set of comparative historical studies located in the Ancient Civilization; and, between them, an essay in sociological theory. The first section diagnoses a traditional paralysis in the general theory of gender due to the irrational relationship between sociology and anthropology, and turns to Weber's methodological practice for the cure: the comparative historical method of enquiry and a formal conception of the relationship of biology to society in Interpretive terms. This last entails seeing biology not as supervising society, but as an input into social action under the supervision of history; this entails replacing the strategic notion of "reproduction" with a treatment of demographics. Under this strategy, the biological basis is developed through Jungian psychology to give the conception of "sexual polarity" in four elements: fertility and maternity, maturation, sexuality, and aggression; and a basic typology of social action based on or oriented to these is raised. The second section develops these conceptions and compares them in City-states and Bureaucratic Kingdoms. The first issue is how different power systems impact upon the economy to produce different demographic regimes, in which sex, fertility, and women must either be controlled or accepted; the struggle for control of the state then makes for different types of family, household, and community arrangements - here the family sociology of Zimmerman is recalled. Local community, household, and family patterns are then compared on their own account; then contrasting patterns in motherhood, childhood and adolescence, sexual relationships, and violence, the protection of personal security, and citizenship. Finally, sexual divisions are examined: in the structures of the state apparatus, the various aspects of the economy, and the "bearing of these for stratification. The third section presents three studies in the position of women in Antiquity: New Kingdom Egypt, classical Athens, and the Roman Empire. Finally, two appendices present, respectively, an outline of the general sociology of Antiquity, and a "brief account of the Analytical Psychology of Carl Jung.