In what ways does a feminist standpoint challenge malestream constructions of sociological knowledge? Essay

1457 WordsDec 1, 20086 Pages
In the Monthy Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ opening scene, after giving a birth, woman asks doctor: ‘A boy or a girl?’, ‘I think it's too early to start imposing roles on it, don't you think?’, doctor replies. However humorous, that quotation shows that gender still is one of major social divisions which to huge extent determines most aspects of our lives. Even nowadays women do not have equal opportunities, with an example of The United Kingdom, where ‘Only 12 per cent of vice chancellors are female, 9 per cent of national newspapers editors, 7 per cent of senior police officers,..., 18 per cent of MPs’ (Abbot in Payne 2006:91)'. Feminist thought raises important questions of why does situation occur and how can it be changed. This essay attempts to show how feminism have challenged mainstream, originally constructed from the men’s perspective, sociology and how does it try to change patriarchal society . To fully understand discussed topic, concept of feminism should be clarified. It might refer to social, cultural and political movements, theories and moral philosophies concerned with gender inequalities. Interestingly, feminism takes a form in a variety of disciplines, not necessarily related with social sciences. That include feminist history, feminist literally criticism, feminist geography or eco- feminism. Main claim of its doctrine suggests that women are disadvantaged in the contemporary society and argues the belief that woman are, biologically, less intellectually and physically capable than men. Feminism have also criticised a phenomenon labelled as so called ‘male theory’ or ‘male rationality’, arguing that such forms of structured are linked with traditionally sexualised categories of dominance and oppression. Contrary to common belief, the very beginning of feminist thought did not begun with Mary Wollstonecraft at the end of eighteenth century,

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