Theory and Methods - Feminism - Coggle Diagram
Theory and Methods - Feminism
ORIGINS: See society as male dominated, tries to explain the subordination of women and offers ideas of social change. Feminism has become more significant in sociology and it criticises the 'malestream' nature of sociology and has become a main force in liberating women from their subordination - see sociology as being very male bias and full of men's views
Believe all rights should be equal and we should have the same rights. Believe gradual change will bring about reformation and equality. This means radical revolution is not needed.
Believe that changing laws and policies within society to secure equal opportunities for women
3.They want cultural change and want to end stereotypical ideas about women
SEX and GENDER: Believe
is a natural biological difference between people.
is culturally constructed through an individuals socialisation and it is passed from generation to generation. The gender role will be different in each culture. Sex differences are fixed whilst gender differences vary between cultures
Believe Sexist attitudes and stereotypical beliefs are culturally constructed and taught via socialisation
To create gender equality we need to change these socialisation pattern. We need to change expectations surrounding roles in society. Eg. promoting appropriate role models in education and in the family and father's doing more and father's doing more domestic work. They challenge media representations of women.
Liberal feminists are optimistic and believe things are getting better, socialisation is changing, people are judged on ability and not gender
Liberal feminists are critical of functionalist ideas about gender roles. parsons saw certain roles suited to men (instrumental) and certain roles suited to women (expressive) Feminists. Challenge these ideas as they believe men and women can equally perform these roles and want to break down ideas against this
Evidence - They have provided a wealth of evidence documenting the extent of gender inequality and discrimination. They have shown sexism in the media and unfairness in employment supporting the demand for equal policies
Over-optimism - some feminists believe they have too much faith in march of progress view
They do not explain the overall structure of gender inequality
The causes of women's subordination - Marxist and radical feminists argue that they fail to see the underlying causes of women's subordination and think change is possible without revolution
Disagree with liberal feminists and have a key focus on patriarchy
Patriarchy is universal and exists in all communites (firestone) believes the root of this lies in women being childbearers and hence their dependence on men
Believe that Patriarchy is the primary form of social inequality and conflict and in society men are women's main enemy
Believe All men oppress women and all men benefit from patriarchy
They beleive that patriachal opression is direct and personal and it happens in both the publci and private sphere
Believe all relationships involve power and men dominate women through harrassment and personal relationships and this can include sexual and physcial violence. (brownmiller) views rape as being powerful enough to stop women from going out at night
They also see sexuality as constructed by patriarchy to satisfy men's needs. IE. how women are portrayed in pornography as passive, subservient and benefiting men.
They see the following as key to ending oppression and changing society
(women should live apart from men to develop culture of female independence),
(women share experiences and see common enemy) and
(heterosexual relationships are oppressive so lesbianism is the only form of sexuality for women)
is oppressive- shows how relationships can be oppressive
- Class -
Marxists see that class is main source of oppression in society not patriarchy
- no explanation why female subordination varies in different societies. ignores class, ethnicity etc.
- Pollert - chicken and egg thinking. Male violence is due to patriarchy while patriarchy is maintained by violence
abolishing patriarchy -
no explanation how this will happen
patriarchy may already be in the decline and women's position has already greatly improved
- ignores violence against men and in lesbian couples
Believe women's subordination is rooted in capitalism, men may benefit but capitalism benefits the most, they main source of women's subordination is their role as unpaid homemakers
See women being dependent on the man and their subordinate position has benefits/functions for capitalism
FUNCTIONS FOR CAPITALISM; 1. women are a source of cheap and exploitable labour - they are paid less as are thought to be dependent on husbands earnings. 2. women are reserve army of labour - they move in and out of employment when needed and are marginalised 3. women reproduce the labour force - via unpaid domestic work and raising children to be exploited in future 4. women absorb males frustration - Ainsley notes how men absorb male frustration to keep tehm going back to work - they are considered 'takers of shit' and are a buffer to revolution- therefore women have to bear the physcological burden of the mans actions - therefore overthrowing capitalism would be beneficial for women
Barrett sees women's role as performing economic functions for capitalism but we also need to look at non economic factors too. For example we need to look at ideology and how this shapes women's consciousness and maintain their oppression.
Marriage and housewife role are part of ideology of familism. The idea that the nuclear family is normal and desirable for women. A kind of false consciousness is produced by this ideology and this controls women and keeps them in these roles - content and conforming.
believes we need to overthrow this ideology as well as overthrowing capitalism if women are too be liberated - this will enable equality
EVALUATION: - economic matters - they are right to pay attention to the social structure and the nature of the economy
non capitalist societies - do not explain why women are still subordinated in non capitalist societies
unpaid domestic labour - may benefit capitalism but why do women do this - not explained
male dominance - not enough said about the ways men oppress women and how they benefit from unpaid labour
Dual systems feminism - some feminists try to combine marxist and radical feminism into one theory. These two systems they focus on are an economic system - capitalism and sex gender system - patriachy
Hartmann - capitalism and patriarchy are two are intertwined systems - patriarchal capitalism. we need to look at the relationship between their position both in the domestic division of labour and in paid work - eg- domestic work limits opportunities for paid work and lack of work drives women to become economically dependent on a man
- agrees that capitalism and patriachy are interrelated but says that the two are not always the same. They collide over the exploitation of female labour. Capitalism may want cheap labour (from lbaour) but patriachy resists this in the domestic sphere (men want women at home) Capitalism is usually the more influential force though - so patriahcy adopts a half way house strategy where women can enter employment but only into low status jobs subordinate to men.