Introduction: thinking patriarchy

Katie Barclay

in Love, Intimacy and Power

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084904
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702598 | DOI:
Introduction: thinking patriarchy

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‘I rest your loving obedient wife’. The relationship between these terms is at the heart of this study. This chapter explores the nature of power within the marriages of the Scottish elites between 1650 and 1850. It highlights the significance of the patriarchal system in shaping how men and women conceived of marriage, and how their every interaction, however benign, was a product of the patriarchal system that gave their behaviour meaning. The study focuses on the conjugal unit, looking at how couples negotiated love, intimacy, the management of the household and, ultimately, the balance of power within their marriage. It demonstrates that the patriarchal system was not static, but recreated in every negotiation, ensuring its continuation across the period. This chapter provides in-depth picture of what it meant to be married within a patriarchal culture, and provides insight into why a study of love and intimacy ensures that there can be no straightforward history of patriarchal systems.

Keywords: Scottish elites; patriarchal system; power within marriage; love and intimacy; patriarchy

Chapter.  17255 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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