Carlotta Cossutta

A kitchenless house. The politicisation of domestic space in Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Keywords: Perkins Gilman, woman, house, evolution, efficiency

The essay analyses the politicisation of the concept of women through the re-signification of domestic space. The text analyses in particular the thought of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, examining especially Women and Economics (1898) and The Home: its Work and Influence (1903). In the first part, the American context and some of the earlier reflections on the home are reconstructed. Then it is noted how Gilman links the oppression of women to the restraint on the evolution of society. Finally, it is highlighted how the politicisation of the house goes hand in hand with its exposure to experts and efficiency criteria, in order to show how Gilman’s proposal contains both potentials and risks

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