Feminism and the Family 4

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  • Highlly critical of the family as it has harmful effects for women and responsible for patriarchy
  • Reject functionalist idea that nuclear family is ideal as it restricts women's choices.
  • 4 broad types of feminism which have different views on what changes are needed to improve women's position.

Liberal Feminism

  • Children learn via gender role socialisation - traditional distribution of power generally favours males - boys learn to be breadwinners and heads of the household, girls learn to subordinate their lives to childcare and housework.
  • Ann Oakley - from early age - trained to conform to social expectations of gender. Two processes central to hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity.
  • Manipulation - parents encourage or discourage behaviours.
  • Canalisation - parents channel children's intrestes into gender appropriate toys.
  • These involve gender codes which result in conformity: Colour, dress, appearance, toy, play, etiquette, family media, speech, domestic, control.
  • Optimistic view of current prospects for women - progress has been made over time and family roles have become more equal.
  • Somerville - women have more choice about marriage, paid work when married, and whether…


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