Feminist Criticisms and Our Founding Fathers of Sociology
Assignment 3 - Part B
Each of the three classical sociological approaches, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, provides analyses and models which capture many elements of the social world. They identify features of society and methods of study that yield great insight into how people interact with each other and how society is structured and develops. Feminists and analysts of sexuality argue that classical sociologists were male writers with a male centered and conventional analysis of women, family, and sexuality. As a result, one major feminist criticism was that women were absent from the social analyses and social world of classical sociology. The language and analysis of classical sociologists is that of men, male activities and experiences, and the parts of society dominated by males. Many analyses excluded portions of the social world which were typically occupied by women and children, with classical writers showing little interest in institutions such as the household, family, and community where women’s experiences have often been centered. The approach of Marx with respect to women and the family was little different than that of conventional economics. In the Marxian model, women were part of the household, responsible for bearing and raising children and for maintaining the household. Both Marxist theory and practice continue to ignore, recent developments in feminist theory and practice. Feminist theory challenges a definition of production as narrowly confined to the production of commodities, commonly used in Marxist literature, examines the production and reproduction of people under patriarchal relations, and focuses on the conflicts that arise between women and men because of their differing relations to these two types of production. Feminist practice emphasizes building consensus strategies, supporting women in their individual...
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