A level sociology revision – education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more!
Feminist Perspectives on Society – A Summary Grid
A2 Main Ideas
Feminism the Basics:
Gender inequality primary lens for analysis
Gender is socially constructed
Patriarchy is one of the root causes of sex inequalities
Feminism is a political movement
Socialisation main cause, not structures
What change within the system
Seek to eradicate discrimination and stereotyping
The structure of Patriarchy
Rape and Violence as tools of control
Radical Libertarian Feminists/ Radical Cultural Feminists
Political Lesbianism and Separatism
Capitalism main source of oppression, capitalists the main beneficiaries
Women reproduce the labour force
Women take the shit
Men more dependent on wages
Working class and women should work together
Do not see women as a single homogenous group
Criticised preceding feminist theory for claiming a ‘false universality’ (white, western heterosexual, middle class)
Sees Feminists theory – essentialist and part of the masculinist Enlightenment Project
Look at discourses and the relationship between power and knowledge rather than ‘politics and opportunities’
Helene Cixoux – a destabilising theorist
Research Methods Implications
Liberal/ Marxist – Prefer quantitative research – trends and bigger picture
Radical – mixture of qualitative and quantitative/ also consciousness raising and activism
Postmodern – Deconstruction and critique of male language/ researching and celebrating diversity to challenge gender norms.
How they understand family life
Liberal – Inequality is primarily to be tackled through improving equality of opportunity in work, politics and education, not the family
Marxist – the nuclear family structure and women’s oppression with in it primarily benefits capitalism, and stems from capitalism
Radical – The heterosexual nuclear family is one of the main structures through which men oppress and control women – through everything from the dual burden through domestic violence (see Germaine Greer as an example)
How they understand underachievement in education
Liberal – The gender gap in education is one of the strongest pieces of supporting evidence for Liberal Feminism
Marxist – Gender stereotypes in subject choice still result in a gender pay gap in later life as women go into lower paid jobs
Radical – Gender Regimes still make up part of the hidden curriculum – sexual harassment for example often goes unchallenged in schools (Kat Banyard)
How they understand crime and deviance
Hegemonic Masculinity is one of the fundamental drivers of crime (Messerschmitt)
Violence against women is one of the primary sources of control of women
The courts fail to prosecute and put the ‘victim on trial’ which perpetuates violence against women
Cultural norms around sexuality serve to control women – The Beauty Myth and the sexual double standard
Key Studies and Examples to use to illustrate
The correlation between economic growth and gender equality in wider society supports Liberal Feminism, and criticises Marxist and Radical Feminism.
The Equal Pay Act, Divorce Act, Equality Act and Maternity and Paternity Acts are all good examples of policies which liberal feminists support.
The gradual trend towards gender equality in the UK supports liberal feminism
The Gender Pay gap – and lack of women in control of Corporations supports Radical Feminism
The prevalence of the Beauty Myth supports radical Feminism
Stats on anorexia and ‘planet sad’ support radical feminism
Stats on Domestic Violence tend to support Radical Feminism
Stats on harassment from the Everyday Sexism Project supports radical feminism
The link between poverty, sex-trafficking and prostitution supports radical feminism
‘Slutever’ is a case study supporting difference Feminism
Documentaries on ‘sex work’ support Difference Feminism
Bake off supports difference Feminism (and criticises Liberal Feminism
Liberal – Based upon male assumptions and norms such as individualism and competition, and encourages women to be more like men and therefor deny the ‘value of qualities traditionally associated with women such as empathy.
Liberal – is an ethnocentric perspective – based mostly on the experiences of middle class, educated women.
Radical – The concept of patriarchy has been criticised for ignoring variations in the experience of oppression.
Radical – Patriarchal systems existed before capitalism, in tribal societies for example
Difference – Walby, women are still oppressed by objective social structures – namely Patriarchy
Difference – Dividing women into an infinite number of sub-groups which weakens the movement for change.