Feminism and the family

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 10-01-13 14:55
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  • Feminist theories on the family
    • Radical feminists
      • Greer (2000) --Even in marriages tofay women remain subservient to their husbands. Believes that single women are generally happier and this is reflected in the hugh number of divorces instigated by women. Claims women are more likely to suffer physical and sexual abuse than hubands and daughters are often sexually abused by males in family
      • Believe that the family plays major role in maintaining the oppression of women in a patriarchal, male dominated society
    • Liberal feminists
      • Jennifer Somerville 2000- beleives that women are still disadvantaged in families, but she critic's radical and marxist feminists for failing to accept the progress that has been made in some ways. --women now hae much mroe choice about whether to marry, when to get married, if they want to work
        • There is now greater equality within marriage and greater sharing of the responsibility for paid and unpaid work and childcare.
          • However, she agrees that there are still inequalites within the marriage that need to be tackled through pragmatic reform
    • Criticism
      • Oversimplyfying by taking little account of differences in the circumstances of different groups of women-class, ethnicity,age difference
      • Largely failing to acknowledge the increasing equality of men and women
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      • Exaggerating the exploitation of women within the family
    • Marxist feminists
      • Margaret Benston 1971-Claims that wives are used to produce and rear cheap labour for employers. The childcare they provide is unpaid and they alo help to maintain their husbands a workers at no cost to the employers,
      • Believe that the family benefits the capitalist system and in doing so exploits women
      • Fra Ansley 1972- Believes that wies suffer as a result of the frustration experienced by their husbands int he alienating work that they do for capitalists
    • Difference feminism
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      • Recognises that there is incresing family diversity today and women may not be equally exploited in all family types
      • Criticisms
        • Feminists have conducted research into areas of family life which have either been neglected or not studied before. these include: conjugal roles, motherhood, pregnanacy, childbirth and childcare.
        • Has shown that the family may benefit some members particulary men more than others
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