Feminism Essay

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How can assumptions about gender and registers of gender difference, as well as nature/culture dichotomies, inform meaning and the production of geographical knowledge.

Geographers use poststructuralist and feminist ideas in order to study human environment, society and geogrpahical space. Feminism and poststructuralism encourage us to question the set of assumptions and socially constructed meanings that give rise to knowledge claims. Poststructuralism is a popular critique that challenges our representation between relationship and reality and is a direct response to the percieved ridgeties and certanties that are the main characteristics of strutualism. The main contributors to the poststructuralist critique were Jacques Derrida and Michel Faucault. In Geography poststructuralists adopt a critical stance towards all knowledge claims, and expose the conceptual scoffolding upon which knowledge claims rest. It states that meaning is created by discourse in that a specific series of representations through which meanings are produced generate knowledge, they insist that knowledge is situated and limited they have recognised and been honest about the contingency of geographical claims while they consider they way they ahv e been socialised to view the world and realise that knowledge is based on experience.

Feminism similarly has a profound impact on how assumptions can influence opinions or perspective on gender binaries and nature/culture dichotomies. Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economical and social rights for women. Feminism focuses on the distinctions society holds between genders and in particular on the discrimination of women in society. The feminist theory aims to develop the understanding of gender inequality. Feminist Geographers have challenged the exclusion of women in society “the assumption held by many male geographers that women that women should not really be interested geographical topics – one of the first discussions of the male domination of geography described it as result of stubborn, persistent descrimination against women trying to enter the profession” (G. Rose, pg2). It is clear that there is a type of sex bias in geography “…through omission of any consideration of women, most geographic research has in effect been passively, often inadvertently, sexist” (Monk and Hanson 1982:11). It is obvious that male perspective has caused much problems for women in the profession. The maindifficulty that feminist geography had to overcome is the fact the geographical knowledge has been primarily based on male experiences. “Clearly, women have been and continue to be marginalised as producers of geographical knowledge” .(G. Rose, pg2). It was of the opion that mens lives adequately described entire populations as data on husbands was used to describe wives. However in more recent years there has been significant advances in the development of feminist geographers.”over the decade feminist geographers have addressed three of the central concepts of the disciplinespace, place and nature- and the ways in which these implicated in the structure of gender divisions in different societies, as well as in the case of nature being gendered itelf.” (Mc Dowell, pg, 159)

It is obvious why geographers have used poststruturalist and Feminist ideas in geography. They act is influencial critiques of geographical knowledge and contribute heavily to the constructed frameworks for providing geographical knowledge. Furthermore they allow us to scrutinise the sets of assumptions and socially constructed meanings that cause knowledge to emrege. To do this we must deconstruct the represention of this knowledge which could be written statments, images, landscapes and many lother things. For instance hidden meanings, internam logics abd narratives could support these images and enable them to make sense. For instance hidden meanings,...
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