Assess the Contribution made by Feminism to our understanding of society

notes from class and book combined :)

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Feminism originated in France in the late 1800's. In the 1900's the first feminism was concerned with women getting the right to vote. They helped us to understand how unfair politics are. they pointed out that female opinion was once ignored. If men did divorce women, the man owned all! Women were treated as second class citizens (some believe that this is still happening!) The 2nd wave of feminism was in 1960/70's. Feminism expanded to include; liberal, radical, marxist fems etc. All had slightly different viewpoints. We are encouraged to look at society in a different way when looking at feminist work. In 1980/90's postmodern feminists acknowledged how diverse women were and how they all experienced different things.

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Main Contributions of Feminism

1) how women have been invisible e.g. in education, media talk about how boys are doing bad at school yet ignore how well girls are doing.

2) Helped us understand about the sexist portrayal of women e.g. women in media lose jobs due to wrinkles.

3) Helped us learn about domestic violence and the hidden impact it has.

4) They campaigned for housewives to have more respect and congratulated on what they do do e.g. housework, child care. Due to this men have started to help with housework

5) Helped us realised how full the criminal justice system is of men

6) helped us realise how stigmatised women are in society for doing things that when done by a male are seen as acceptable e.g. sleeping around.

7) Helped us see how negatively women are portrayed in the religious texts e.g. It wasn't Adam's fault it was Eve's... none of the disciples were women.  

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Qualitative data increases validity and gains understanding of emotion

They analyse each situation and get a method to match it

They believe that formal methods like structured interviews are like ****

The underdog needs a voice and they shouldn't be told what to say via leading questions.

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Liberal Feminists (19th century and 1960's)

They want legal equality. Their protests have made considerable progress. 1970's- revival happened and equal pay act was established. 1975- Anti- Discrimination act was established. SOMERVILLE= quite content that society is making some progress. It has been a lot better than in the past. but there are improvements to be made. She wants more flexibility in parenting. EVAL= david cameron has enforced flexible parenting so this is happening.

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Radical Feminists 1960's

We live in a patriarchal society where women are inferior. They say its not just a legal or power attack it its a personal attack. Women are patronised; they are treated as sex objects and take a subordinate role in family life. FRIEDON= 1960's "the Feminine Mystique". the problem that has no name which includes a feeling of discontent and being patronised. We are worth more!!! In the 60's women began to realise their potential. EVAL= PARSONS= its natural for women to stay at home and care for their children. GREER= he has done all that he has to to make her happy. MOTHERHOOD= children are a burden as when you are motherly you aren't given respect. what we should do is create matrifocal communities to all support each other. EVAL= This is unrealistic!!! SOMERVILLE= most women like men and want to live with them!. FIRESTONE= oppression is due to a woman's biology e.g. breastfeeding, periods, pregnancy make us weaker and men use this against us EVAL= women have better control over their bodies due to abortion, the pill etc so these things dont have to bring us down anymore. MILLETT= cultural differences can make women more inferior e.g. women in china used to get their feet binded to make them walk better, arranged marriages, wearing the veil... all oppressing. EVAL= millett does look at lots of cultures. OAKLEY=  Gender roles are a social construct which we have created. kids are socialised into these roles so these views are being passed down to our children EVAL= a new trend where children's genders aren't revealed so they aren't socialised in a particular way so don't learn these roles at a young age. Also the theory is very outdated.

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Marxist Feminist 1970s

2 issues in society; capitalism (most urgent one) and patriarchy. Women are forced into unpaid labour (DELPHY AND LENNARD) this feeds the workers and keeps them going. Women are used as a reserve army e.g. WW2 women were used in factories etc until men returned. EVAL= are teens that reserve army? cheap labour and dispensable etc. ANSLEY= women are the takers of ****- they have to deal with all the moaning from children and husbands and their own problems then try to sort out problems to help them go back to work/ school. this helps capitalism as they all keep working and women don't get paid to do this. FEELEY= men run a petty dictatorship by controlling silly things in house e.g. like holding remote control although they aren't changing channel. Sons then learn this and repeat it when they have a family. this saves capitalists and the bourgeoisie a job. BENSTON= to make equality you need to pay the stay at home mums who do a great deal EVAL= as if this would happen!

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Revolutionary Feminists

Women are superior. Only lesbians can be true feminists because they are independant of men. they create organisations to become liberated e.g. SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) or WITCH ( Women's International Terrorists Conspiracy from Hell). They have also campaigned about **** as it reduces women to sexual items instead of humans. EVAL= this is still a big issue in the media.

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Black Feminists

Oppression can only be racial, sexist or capitalist. White feminists are blinkered as they ignore other issues. EVAL= Millett did look at other cultures world wide so some do consider other factors. EVAL= feminists start to fragment. also if you listen to black feminists then you have to listen to every culture of feminists e.g. asian, american, australian etc.

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Difference Feminists/ Post-Modern Feminists

not all women suffer the same issues and are affected in the same way. Radical feminists say how unfair it is that the media sexualise women but there are some women that can't find water for their children etc. As time goes on there are more feminists discourses appear. EVAL= good as most views are covered but this weakens there overall argument as they all contradict each other and therefore undermine each other. positivists say that feminism lacks scientificness as they should be working within a paradigm. Some would even say that its like journalism not science.

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Post- Structuralist Feminism

They examine discourses in sociologists. they are particularly interested in scientific/ medical discourses. The Enlightenment of science was dominated by men completely. medicine makes women weak as the medicines we go on for menstruation etc make us seem less equal to men. We must listen to all types of women as they would have suffered different types of oppression due to lifestyles differences etc. However the more we hear about fragmented the weaker their argument becomes. Although they are structuralist in theory they don't use structuralist methods as they are deemed aggressive so use interpretivist methods such as unstructured interviews. they attack malestream positivist methods.

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beth reid


jolly good. ma nme is beff nd i lve histori nd socioligi heheh i love sheraaz coz hes is da best.

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