Feminism Theory & Methods

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  • Feminism
    • Liberal
      • women's inequality arises from sexist stereotyping/ sex discrimination
      • Evaluation
        • evidence shows gender differences are socially constructed
        • Radical/ Marxist Feminists think women's equality only achieved by revolutionary change/ overthrow not just reducing women's subordination
    • Walby's Six Structures of Patriarchy
      • Sexuality
        • different standards of behaviour are expected of men and women
      • Male Violence
        • male violence against women is ignored condoned or tackled inadequately by the state
      • The State
        • policies are primarily in men's interest
      • Cultural Instituions
        • religion media education all reinforce patriarchy
      • Paid Work
        • women have lower paid/ status more part time/ temporary jobs
      • The Household
        • women have primary responsibility for housework/ childcare limiting access to promotion in paid work
    • Weberian
      • unlike positivist theories of the time Weber argued there can't be an objective study of human society
        • Weber sociolozied science and claimed ideology influences the manner in which objects are studied
          • Feminists drew on this idea and argue social sciences are in essence masculine and are agents in sustaining patriarchy
      • feminists reject the notion of value free and objective sociology and claim it is malestream so male dominated
    • Difference
      • while all women suffer many same problems not all are in the same position different contexts
      • postmodernism weakened social groups/ structures
        • gender class ethnicity as sources of identity have pick n mix identities differences in experience
      • Evaluation
        • Liberal/ Radical Feminists critical as by emphasising differences between women difference feminism deflects attention away from those problems shared by all women
        • recognises other feminist theories don't take into account diversity in the nature/ experiences of women's subordination increasingly complex and fragmented
    • Radical
      • patriarchy is the most fundamental form of inequality
        • men dominate women men benefit so they're the enemy
          • propose the destruction of patriarchy women should free themselves of oppression through seperatism / lesbianism
        • divided into two sex classes
      • Evaluation
        • assumes all women share common interest fails to recognise ethnicity/ class as sources of inequality
        • doesn't offer explanation of how patriarchy can be abolished
          • Marxist Feminists see main cause of women's subordination is capitalism
    • Marxist
      • gender inequality stems from nature of capitalist society which intensifies patriarchy
        • women are a source of cheap labour and reserve army
          • women's expressive role absorb men's anger at their exploitation at work
            • Ansley argues women are 'takers of ****'
      • Evaluation
        • don't explain patriarchy existed in all known societies not just capitalist, Radical Feminist
        • men not just capitalism benefit from women's subordination men are instruments of oppression


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