Political Ideologies Pack (2nd part of the course)

Feminism, Multiculturalism and Ecologism notes ---- core values, key thinkers/quotes and factions of each included.

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  • Created on: 24-06-13 21:35
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`rule by the father'
The domination of men in both public and private life
Commonly viewed as the most important social cleavage to Feminists
o Though TENSION lies in that not all Feminists see as most important, for some look
to class and race too.
It is thus why `sexism' is often likened to `racism': highlight level of discrimination
Feminists do, however, all understand that the level of patriarchal domination varies
across the globe
o Under-developed countries still practice female circumcision and paying dowries
for women; the Feminist movements in the West prevents such actions, in contrast.
Millett: the patriarchy is `an institution where that half which is female is controlled by that
half which is male.'
Extends beyond the biological.
`Otherness' is a term that was coined by Beauvoir; it relates to the subconscious
acceptance of female inferiority from women themselves.
Looks to raising awareness for it is only then that we can rise against our oppressors.
Liberals say that by gaining equality through public reform, women would just naturally
become equal.
Radicals, however, say that a full-out sexual revolution is required to completely escape
the oppressive influence of men. i.e. Political lesbianism.
Women are victims of self-imprisonment.
A woman's biology, so the ovaries and uterus that enable females to bear children,
becomes the `justification' that imprisons the woman `within the limits of her own nature' ­
`the personal is political'
Private sphere = home, where women are confined to.
Public is politics, jobs, where men are seen by Feminists to hoard possessively.
Liberal Feminists look to REFORM the public sphere, thereby giving women equal
o Divorce, Abortion, Equal Pay.
Radicals look to sexual revolution, where the private life must be investigated into and
then addressed directly i.e. Betty Friedan's `The Feminine Mystique' was based off of
surveys into the lives of women, who were largely domesticated at the time.
Moderates look to the mergence of both, so setting up crèche facilities: the private is
brought into the public sphere.

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Millett: `politics is about power-structured relationships where one person is controlled
by another'.
Equality and Difference
End goal is ambiguous, for some Feminists want equality, i.e. Liberal feminists, whereas
Feminists of the Essentialist branch look to female superiority but highlighting
Essentialists value difference not equality
o Celebrate women's literature and art
o Look to heighten perception of female empathetic nature ­ not stamping it down.…read more

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Radical Feminism
Political lesbianism: women's sexual conduct will affect their position in society.
o Atkinson: `Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice'.
o These feminists believe that no true harmony or equality can be gained in a
heterosexual relationship because the male influence makes the women `male
identified', so not truly her own person. They consequently support homosexual,
lesbian relationships as a means to become truly free from the patriarch, for the
relationship then allows women to become `woman identified'.…read more

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Women are, in some respects, superior.
France and the US.
Socialist Feminism
Look at how the domestic role of women is used to benefit Capitalism
o Parson's `Warm Bath' Theory
The wife comforts the husband by cooking him dinner, tidying the house,
listen to his troubles and even via sexual favours/obligations to refresh the
man's troubled person so that he may go back to work with a clearer
mind-set and perform his duties with more efficiency and such.

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Liberals don't wish to rid division of public and private because reforming public helps
freedom in the private sphere.
o Extension of Franchise 1928
o Reform Act 1969
o Equal pay Act 1970
o Only focuses on public ­ Radicals dislike this and parody Friedan (below) with the
`Mystique of Motherhood'.…read more

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Dual Culture
Look to diversity as a means of overcoming social prejudice and polarisation: encourage
Encourage the merging of numerous cultures and also agrees with having more than one
cultural identity.
However, liberals disagree because the blurring of numerous cultures can become
overwhelming for the individual essence of a person; dual culture means the loss of
individual identity.
Identity and Culture
We are defined by our culture because culture is considered more important than nature.…read more

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Socialists limit the multiculturalist view on minority rights because it sets out to prioritise
certain social groups over others instead of attaining for full equality.
Another criticism lies in the discouragement of integration into a society where a culture
has emigrated to: Liberals fault because then this fails freedom of expression but
conservatives argue that this poses a threat to the `traditional host culture.…read more

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Criticised because stresses unity rather than diversity
Also criticised because cosmopolitanism needs a global consciousness whereas
multiculturalism focuses on distinctive cultural groups
Pluralist Multiculturalism
o Positive Discrimination
o Differences of groups emphasised against dominant ones
o Cultural diversity creates unequal power because interests of minorities given
more attention and effort, but also the minorities (prior to this) do miss
opportunities that majority groups have.…read more

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Boulding's argument that humans treat Earth with a `Cowboy Economy' approach; our
`reckless, exploitative and violent behaviour' exploits the Earth's resources. Boulding then
continues by labelling the Earth as a `Spaceship Earth' whereby the planet is a `closed
system' ­ non-renewable ­ and so our reckless behaviour towards the eco-system will
drain all of the resources and leave us in what Schumacher calls `entropy', or a state of
o `Grey parties' are further criticised for endorsing this reckless `Cowboy Economy'
approach.…read more

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Links to social-ecologists who recognise that humans should all show compassion to
each other regardless of sex, race, class etc.
Naess: all living organisms have an `equal right to live and bloom'.
Singer developed his idea of `specieism' where different species are valued in accordance
to their level of sentience.
o Criticised by Deep Ecologists who say Singer's ideas are still based on
anthropocentric ideals. Nature and the various species should be given `intrinsic
value', where they are valued because they are larger than humans.…read more


Old Sir

This set of notes covers the strands of feminism, multiculturalism and ecology concisely and with enough detail to suggest directions in which students might find examples and case studies substantial enough to allow evaluation and analysis (AO2).

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