Women’s Opression Today
One of Michèle’s significant books, this is being reissued by Verso with an updated introduction.

“This book is a school of thought” Frigga Haug, Das Argument

Barrett - Womens Oppression Today - PRINT“Women’s Oppression Today is a classic text in the debate about Marxism and feminism, exploring how gender, sexuality and the ‘family-household system’ operate in relation to contemporary capitalism. In this updated edition, Michèle Barrett surveys the social and intellectual changes that have taken place since the book’s original publication, and looks back at the political climate in which the book was written. In a major new essay, she defends the central arguments of the book, at the same time addressing the way such an engagement would play out differently today, over thirty years later.”
(publisher’s description)


Originally published by Verso in 1980 Women’s Oppression Today is a classic text reprinted many times.  (Previous covers, right)WOT-composite-sm








 The Anti-Social Family
Michèle Barrett and Mary McIntosh
Verso, 1982, new edition to be published 2015

Verso_Anti-Social_Family_2014“The Anti-Social Family decries the idealization of the family put forth by such thinkers as Christopher Lasch, perceiving the family as a haven in a hapless world, but inevitably corrupted by the onset of modern capitalism. The book in turn rethinks the family through a feminist perspective, and denounces it as a structure which “promises so much and delivers so little”. As Carol Smart explains, the book chronicles the authors’ disappointment with the family as not being particularly beneficial to women and children, and moreover as possibly being detrimental to a wider, structural, social level. McIntosh and Barrett, and Smart herself, eventually lean “towards collectivized ways of meeting human needs.””
Hélène Barthélemy, 12 November 2013, Radio4


antisoc family







Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates
Edited by Michèle Barrett and Anne Phillips
Polity and Standford University Press, 1992

Destabilizing Theory_“This major new book is the most up-to-date account of current feminist debates, written by some of the world’s leading feminist thinkers. The 1980s saw a devastating critique of the simple unities of woman or woman’s experience as a theoretical basis for feminist politics. The 1990s brought a powerful reappraisal of the universalizing tendencies in mainstream political, social and cultural theory, as feminists explored the deeper biases that go beyond ‘mere sexism’ to structure the very terms of theoretical debate.
Destabilizing Theory pushes this debate further with major new essays by Michele Barrett and Anne Phillips, and specially commissioned papers from prominent theorists in Britain, the USA and Australia, who take up and develop the themes in a variety of contexts.”
Publisher’s description.

Including a new article by Michèle: Words and Things: Materialism and Method in Contemporary Feminist Analysis.

“Feminist scholars in the United States should find this volume very exciting, since many of the essays organize and make available a great deal of scholarly work from Europe and Australia. . . . Several pieces provide valuable summations of the strengths and weaknesses characteristic of earlier approaches to feminist theorizing; other pieces suggest new approaches designed to avoid previsou methodological shortcomings. Some of the papers may well be landmarks for the 1990s.”—Alison Jaggar, University of Colorado


Early interview during trip to Australia




Click to read or download the full article



A founding member of the Feminist Review Collective, Michèle contributed a number articles to this journal.

Feminist Review

The Concept of ‘Difference’
Michèle Barrett
Feminist Review 26, 29–41 (1 July 1987)

This article investigates the different ways in which the concept of ‘difference’ has been deployed in recent feminist writing and debate. Historically, feminism has displayed a tension between what are often referred to in shorthand as the ‘difference or equality’ objectives. (Abstract)


Christine Delphy: Towards a Materialist Feminism?
Michèle Barrett and Mary McIntosh
Feminist Review 1, 95–106 (1 March 1979)

One of the most crucial questions currently faced by feminist analysis must surely be that of the relationship of the domestic economy to the oppression of women. It is an issue that raises many problems to which we have as yet only unsatisfactory answers. (Abstract)