Chapter

Notes of a Jewish Episcopalian: Gender as a Language of Class; Religion as a Dialect of Liberalism

Joan C. Williams

in Debating Democracy's Discontent

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294962
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598708 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294964.003.0008
 Notes of a Jewish Episcopalian: Gender as a Language of Class; Religion as a Dialect of Liberalism

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The charge of socialism is a conversation-stopper; republicanism offers a native American alternative. To justify his radical widening of the concept of property, Charles Reich, in “The New Property,” mixed the liberal language of privacy with language from the republican egalitarian strain. The mystique of homeownership carries on republican themes, such as the notion that property offers a stable stake in society, and the notion that owners make good citizens. The grip of domesticity is so profound that the only realistic strategy is to transform it from within, to turn arguments for why women should remain in the home into demands to employers and the government to spread the costs of childrearing instead of privatizing them onto the women and children who represent 77 percent of those in poverty. In a culture with few viable redistributive rhetorics, religion has tremendous potential for building cross-class and cross-race coalitions.

Keywords: domesticity; egalitarian; homeownership; owners; poverty; privacy; property; religion; socialism; stable

Chapter.  7098 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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