Marxist explanations of gender inequality

  • Created by: MelMel
  • Created on: 21-10-19 13:21
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  • Marxist explanations of gender inequality
    • Reserve army of labour (Marx/ Feminists)
      • It is mainly women who fill the ranks of the reserve army
      • Women are regarded as secondary workers whose main responsibility is the home and children
      • Freedman- married women are supposed to be dependent on their husband's wages and give priority to their home responsibilities
      • Criticisms
        • Functionalists- would argue that women have not achieved the level of skills necessary to be allocated in the best job roles
    • Private property (Feeley)
      • Family teaches children to submit to a form of patriarchal parental authority
        • They become preconditioned to accept their place in the capitalist hierarchy and are though passivity, not rebellion
      • Family is designed to teach traditional gender roles
      • The capitalist ideology about nuclear families leads to the subordination of women to men
      • Criticisms
        • Walby (triple system Feminist)- racism, capitalism and patriarchy are interacting systems; women from ethnic minorities experience the greatest inequality
    • Class differences (Skeggs)
      • Not all women are oppressed to the same degree
      • There are class differences between women and they do not all enjoy the same lifestyles and incomes
      • Working class women have lower life chances are more oppressed by a dual system of class oppression and patriarchy
      • Criticisms
        • Radical Feminists- Skeggs used a small sample and interpretivist methods; women told her social class was irrelevant but she highlighted it as an issue
      • Supported by Walby and her triple system Feminism
    • Cultural capital (Bourdieu)
      • Men may have the dominant culture and power to see this as a norm, thus disadvantaging other genders
      • Women working in the London banking sector were excluded when they didn't attend late night drinking sessions and going to ***** clubs
        • They won their sex discrimination case because this was used to discriminate against them when promoting employees
      • Criticisms
        • Cultural capital is hard to define and Bourdieu has been accused of proposing that one type of cultrure was superior to another culture. Feminisation of workplace.


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