Feminist Theory

This set of cards looks at feminists theory: Mainly focusing on AQA. It looks at:

  • Liberal Feminists
  • Marxist Feminists
  • Radical Feminists
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Liberal Feminists

Optomistic about change-but that some change has been made. The believe differences between men and women has changed, and may improve further if more laws come into force. They believe 'glass ceiling' prevents women from reaching top jobs.

Oakley (1974)
Position of women varies greatly between societies
Factory Act 1819 meant children <9 could not work in factorys meaning women had to stop at home to look after them adopting the 'housewife' role
Since end of WW2 womens role has been ambigious
Women and the dul burden

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Marxist Feminists

Although men might sometimes be 'the problem' class is more important in explaining society

Engels (1972)
Promiscuous hordes-sexual relationships not fixed
Men became determined to leave property to own offspring so began to demand fidelity-so men began to have more power over women

Coontz and Henderson (1986)
Patriarchy more likely to occur in societies that were Patrilocal than matrilocal

They see the family playing an important role in maintaining Capitalism

  • Family produces next generation of workers at no cost
  • Women and children act as a break to revolutionary ideas-men cant strike otherwise wife and children would starve
  • Women are a reserve army of labour
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Radical Feminists

Most 'anit-men' strand of feminism, They see men and the family as the 'problem', and that women cannot be free unless current faimly structure is abbolished.

Firestone (1972)
Womens biology is the basis for their inequality
They are physically dependant on men because of being able to give birth
Ignores other forms of inequality such as class and ethnicity

Ortner (1974)
Culture is the basis of differentation between the sexes as its contolled by men
Whereas women are seen as close to nature because they give birth
Fails to concider wide differences between societies

Rosaldo (1974)
Concerned with how biology places women in domestic sphere
Women are no longer confined to the house looking after children in societies

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