Feminist Perspectives on Social Contract Theory
Janice Richardson

May 21, 2021, 5:00am - 6:30am
Arts, Monash University



Monash University

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This online Zoom event will take place on Friday 21 May, 9am Melbourne time (time conversion below).

  • Melbourne, Australia      Fri, 21 May 2021 at 9:00 am AEST
  • New York, USA             Thu, 20 May 2021 at 7:00 pm EDT
  • Los Angeles, USA          Thu, 20 May 2021 at 4:00 pm PDT
  • London, United Kingdom    Fri, 21 May 2021 at 12:00 midn BST

Open to the public. To receive the Zoom link for this event, please email [email protected]

Janice Richardson (Monash University), 'Feminist Perspectives on Social Contract Theory'

With the notable exception of Hobbes, the classic social contractarians made two claims: 1) that relations of subordination and domination were not natural but occurred by convention; and 2) that women’s subordination was natural. In her ground-breaking work on the social contract theorists, Carole Pateman explains this contradiction and highlights the link between the following relationships: traditional husbands/ wives, employers/employees and sovereign/subjects. This comparison was initially jarring but also very fruitful. By juxtaposing these relationships, she argues that it is through contracts for the exchange of property in the person that relations of subordination became managed in modernity. In this paper, I consider Pateman’s analysis in the context of Mary Anne Case’s conclusions about women in the workplace in “Pets or Meat” and David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs.

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May 20, 2021, 5:00am +10:00

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