Daedalus and the Patriarchal Labyrinth

The Winter 2020 issue of Daedalus, with the theme “Women and Equality,” is now live on the website of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, with open access. The introductory essay by Nannerl Keohane and Frances  McCall Rosenbluth puts the theme in historical context and sets the stage for a rich and diverse set of contributions–cutting edge in their attention to intersectional and global issues.

I participated in a workshop in which early drafts of the papers were discussed, and was entranced by the quality of the collaborative discussion. I also got some great feedback on my  essay  “Cooperation and Conflict in the Patriarchal Labyrinth,”  an interdisciplinary conceptualization of bargaining power that emphasizes the role of imperfect information and inefficient outcomes.

It also explains important parallels between structures of collective power based on gender, age, and sexuality, and those based on other dimensions of socially assigned group membership such as race, ethnicity, citizenship and class. That’s what makes the path so convoluted.

 I learned that Alice Eagly and Linda Carli  applied the same metaphor in their 2007 book, Through the Labyrinth: The Truth about How Women Become Leaders. I use the term in a slightly different way, to emphasize how confusing the path to effective collective action can be.

If only there were a clear red thread for us to follow. Maybe it’s there, and we just haven’t found it yet.

 

 

 

 

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