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Ferdinand Tonnies on gender, women and the family

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The paper will show that on women and the family his writings exhibit a contradictory stance between nineteenth-century patriarchalism and progressive ideas; he appears to oscillate, as it were, between Hegel or Ruskin and Engels or J.S. Mill. This seems curious to a late twentieth-century reader, but was by no means eccentric in the context of German feminist and socialist discourse of his time. His philosophy of gender cannot be dismissed as a mere collection of tired patriarchalist cliches; like his philosophy of society it is rich and still worthy of attention.

Keywords: Ferdinand Tonnies; Gemeinschaft; Gesellschaft; patriarchal; philosophy of gender; philosophy of history; society

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Huddersfield University.

Publication date: 1995-03-01

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