Using material from Item 2B and elsewhere, assess the contribution of feminist sociologists to an understanding of family roles and relationships (24 marks) Feminists have helped change the tradition view of the family. There are two types of feminists; liberal and radical. As shown in the item they take a ‘critical view’ of the family arguing that it is patriarchal and focus on the ‘gender inequalities’ in housework and violence against women. They believe gender inequality is created by society and is not natural. Functionalist Murdock suggested as children we are socialised into societies shared norms and values and he believed that males provide the economic roles and females provided the expressive role.
Modernization throughout the time period is a factor of the advancement of civil rights for women since separate spheres, which was an ideology where men belonged in the public sphere that refers to the world of politics, economy and law. Where as women belonged in the private sphere where it included domestic work, child caring, housekeeping and religious education. Some Women did go against the ideology by working in a men dominated environment e.g. Politics. Activism by women was not the most important factor in advancing civil rights in certain issues and it would disagree with the judgment.
Feminism is the struggle against sexism, or discriminatory social practices and ideologies that result in male supremacy and female oppression. Sexism as a form of social oppression is not a modern phenomenon. Paraphrasing Marx and Engels,l it can be stated that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles and sex struggles because the existence of classes presupposes private ownership of the means of produc- tion, monogamy, and therefore sexism.2 The presence of sexism throughout history accounts for the ease with which it has been taken for granted as a universal feature of all societies or as the product of innate differences between the sexes. This also explains why women today search for its historical origins in an effort to understand its present manifestations. Within the social sciences, the conceptualization of sexism depends upon the basic assumptions about human nature, society, and their relationship which underlie current theories about society and social behavior; theories vary in the emphasis given to either human nature or to society.
Liberation is seen to be achieved through raising women’s consciousness of subjugation. Feminists believe that women have accepted inferiority to men subconsciously, and thus need to realise this before becoming liberated. Millet argues that women are in a “power-structured relationship…whereby one group of persons is controlled by another”, thus suggesting that feminists believe that in our current society men control women. Although there is controversy between feminists as to the extent of advancing a woman’s role within society, as first-wave feminists demand that women should enjoy the same legal and political rights as men, whilst second-wave feminists have greater focus on the personal side of society and call for complete social revolution. Whilst this presents a clear divide within the doctrine, it
Outline and evaluate cultural influences on gender roles Culture is the rules, aims, customs, morals and child rearing practices that bind together a group of people. There are three main aims of cross cultural research. The first is to explore the relative contribution of nature and nurture to the development of gender. The variability across cultures suggests gender roles is learned through the process of socialisation. It also aims to reduce ethnocentrism meaning the tendency to use our own cultural group as the norm and judge others as deviating from this.
Each approach derives from the fact that feminist social theorists were considered to be mainly concerned with gender equality and preoccupied with ensuring that women’s interests were not marginalised .Feminist theorists have continued to concentrate on the position of women in society and their research is generally based on the notion that women are regarded as under the control and authority of men. Current feminist such as Martineau and Wollstonecraft theorists have widened the scope of their work while still acknowledging these concepts as critical to their core. Historically, feminist theorists have challenged the masculine bias in supposedly objective knowledge, claiming that women were excluded within the social sciences with the result that the focus was on topics and institutions of concern more to men than to women and neglecting issues and concerns relevant to women(Hughes 2013).Both Martineau and Wollstonecraft felt that it was only by embracing the diversity of women’s experiences that knowledge would stop being what they described as ‘partial’. They argued also that social scientific knowledge about women must begin from the context of the gendered experience of the women being studied. Such an approach would encourage research into issues such as the traditional family and the possible
In her publication titled “Gender Trouble”, Judith Butler presents her view that gender is a performative role in society, meaning that in order for gender identity to be genuinely expressed and understood, it must be conveyed openly in social spaces. Throughout her book she provides numerous examples of these “social spaces” that would be a necessary ground for women in order to better establish an identity in society. These include political representation, cultural movements, and the economic climate. These social spaces are presented in great depth and explain how they limit a person by identifying with a specific gender. In this paper, I will argue for Butler’s view on how certain gender performance is restricted in these numerous fields, and how Ms. Butler would object to these various situations.
Gender or sex refers to the socially constructed categories of feminine and masculine which are the cultural identies and values that prescribe how men and women should behave. The social power relations based on those categories are distinct from the categories of biological sex (male or female) (Germov, 2009, p. 131). Gender refers to the social aspects of differences and hierarchies between male and female. (Macionis, 2008, p. 367). Gender is understood as a system of relations, a social product constantly negotiated and redefined that both constrains and provides opportunity for action.
In most cases, society affects it by the formation of prevailing fashions and cultural characteristics of the times, which are commonly called the custom. This is deeply rooted in the propaganda and education, as well as based on the development of politics and economy. People are exerted a subtle influence on while they may not recognize the fact. One who defy it would be viewed like an ‘alien’ and unable to integrate into society However, it is worthy of further discussion that the way people look, dress and act can represent what the whole society holds and values comprehensively and accurately. When speaking from the personal level, the answer tends to be negative.
Social inequality and social stratification, according to this view, lead to a meritocracy based on ability. Conflict theorists, on the other hand, view inequality as resulting from groups with power dominating less powerful groups. They believe that social inequality prevents and hinders societal progress as those in power repress the powerless people in order to maintain the status quo. Positions are important so long as those in power consider them to be significant. Gender is seen closely related to the roles and behavior assigned to women and men based on their sexual differences.