Generation and gender: normative and covert hierarchies

Fam Process. 1988 Mar;27(1):17-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.1988.00017.x.

Abstract

This essay argues that gender is an irreducible category of clinical observation and theorizing, as crucial to the family therapy paradigm as the concept of "generation." Gender, therefore, is not a secondary, mediating variable like race, class, or ethnicity, but, rather, a fundamental, organizing principle of all family systems. The author analyzes the history and politics of family therapy in order to explicate how gender, as a co-equal concept, was erased as a universal principle of family organization, leaving only generation. The theoretical and clinical implications of situating gender at the center of family therapy are then discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Denial, Psychological
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Identification, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Rationalization