Assess the Contribution of Feminist Theorists and Researchers to an Understanding of Society Today. (33marks)

1948 Words8 Pages
Liberal feminists are concerned with the human and civil rights and freedoms of the individual; they believe all human beings should have equal rights. Reformism is the idea that progress towards equal rights can be achieve by gradual reforms in society without the need for a revolution. Liberal feminists believe women can achieve gender equality by arguing that laws and policies against sex discrimination in employment and education can secure equal opportunities for women. To add they campaign for cultural change, traditional prejudices and stereotypes about gender differences are a barrier to equality. They reject the idea that biological differences make women less competent than men or men are biologically less emotional or nurturing than women. Oakley (1972) distinguishes between sex and gender. Sex refers to biological differences between males and females, such as the reproductive role. Gender refers to culturally constructed differences between the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ roles. While sex differences are fixed, gender differences vary between cultures and over time. Sexist attitudes are stereotypical beliefs about gender and culturally constructed and transmitted through socialization. Gender equality will happen with change of society’s socialisation patterns, they seek to promote appropriate role models in education and the family. Over time they believe such actions will produce cultural change and gender equality will become the norm. They can be seen as a critique of the functionalist view of the gender role. Instrumental roles are performed in the public sphere of paid work, politics and decision making. This sphere involves rationally, detachment and objectivity. Expressive role are performed in the private sphere of unpaid domestic labour, childrearing and caring for family members. This sphere involves emotion, attachment and subjectivity. In
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