Defining Women is a major in depth analysis of the social, economic and political position of women in contemporary societies It explores the ways in which social institutions, practices and discourse define women and their position in present day societies The book examines the essential debates about the social construction of gender divisions in and by the key institutions of the labour market and the state Focussing on notions of power, dependence and equality, it addresses questions of the differences between women and men, and between women themselves, in the economy and civil society Women s political struggles to challenge their subordinate position are also assessed The recognition of the diverse interests of women currently poses a real challenge to the central project of feminism, but Defining Women confidently argues for it s future This book will be widely used as a text book in feminism and women s studies and will have a broad interdisciplinary appeal