Introduction: The Family Metaphor

  • Barbara LeonardiEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


The introduction sets the volume in conversation with current research on nineteenth-century cultural constructions of gender, class, and race, providing an intersectional discussion of such categories—usually addressed separately or only marginally from an intersectional point of view. It then summarises the chapters, highlighting that the family metaphor is an ideological tool which has been informing ideas of gender, class, and race since the end of the eighteenth century, when Edmund Burke first used it in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) to articulate his ideal of the white, middle-class family on which Britain had to base its national and imperial relationships. The multiple disciplinary approaches explore the family metaphor from various angles, illuminating how it is legitimised, naturalised, challenged, resisted, and re-imagined.


Family metaphor Intersection of gender, class, and race Intersectionality Edmund Burke 

Works Cited

  1. Brod, Harry. 1987. The Making of Masculinities: The New Men’s Studies. Boston: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  2. Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Connell, R.W., and James W. Messerschmidt. 2005. Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept. Gender & Society 19 (6): 829–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ellis, Markman. 2004. The Politics of Sensibility: Race, Gender and Commerce in the Sentimental Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press reprint.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, Michel. 1990. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Vol. 1. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  6. Furneaux, Holly. 2016. Military Men of Feeling: Emotion, Touch, and Masculinity in the Crimean War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Golightly, Jennifer. 2012. The Family, Marriage, and Radicalism in British Women’s Novels of the 1790s: Public Affection and Private Affliction. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Goode, Mike. 2009. Sentimental Masculinity and the Rise of History, 1790–1890. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Halberstam, Judith Jack. 1998. Female Masculinity. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hearn, Jeff. 1996. Is Masculinity Dead? A Critique of the Concept of Masculinity/Masculinities. In Understanding Masculinities: Social Relations and Cultural Arenas, ed. Máirtín Mac an Ghaill, 202–217. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2004. From Hegemonic Masculinity to the Hegemony of Men. Feminist Theory 5 (1): 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. hooks, bell. 1984. Feminist Theory: From Margins to Center. London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  13. Howson, Richard. 2006. Challenging Hegemonic Masculinity. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kimmel, Michael S. 1987. ‘Rethinking Masculinity’: New Directions in Research. In Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity, ed. Michael S. Kimmel, 9–24. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Leneman, Leah, and Rosalind Mitchison. 1998. Sin in the City: Sexuality & Social Control in Urban Scotland 1660–1780. Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press.Google Scholar
  16. Levine, Philippa. 2004. Introduction. In Gender and Empire, ed. Philippa Levine, 1–13. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lewis, Reina. 1996. Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity and Representation. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2004. Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem. London: I. B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  19. Martin, Maureen M. 2009. The Mighty Scot: Nation, Gender, and the Nineteenth-Century Mystique of Scottish Masculinity. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mellor, Anne K. 2000. Mothers of the Nation: Women’s Political Writing in England, 1780–1830. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McDonagh, Josephine. 2003. Child Murder and British Culture, 1720–1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mitchison, Rosalind, and Leah Leneman. 1998. Girls in Trouble: Sexuality and Social Control in Rural Scotland 1660–1780. Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press Revised edition of Sexuality & Social Control: Scotland 1660–1780. First published 1989 by Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2003. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Simpson, David. 2013. Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Symonds, Deborah A. 1997. Weep Not for Me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Woollacott, Angela. 2006. Gender and Empire. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarLondonUK

Personalised recommendations