What is feminism in sociology terms?

Topics: Sociology, Feminism, Gender role Pages: 2 (544 words) Published: December 16, 2013
What is feminism in sociology terms?
Feminist sociologists see it as their role to examine the position of women in society, and to uncover the ways in which patriarchy, or the power of men, has been used to control and oppress women. – Their choice of research tends to be influenced by this. There are four main types of feminist theory that attempt to explain the social differences between men and women: 1) Gender Differences: this examines how women's location in, and experience of, social situations differ from men's. Examples may include the sexual division of labor in the household, so women cooking, cleaning, looking after kids etc., then the men providing the income to the family, 2) Gender Inequality: These theories recognize that women's location in, and experience of, social situations are not only different but also unequal to men's. Many feminists point out that marriage is a site of gender inequality and that women do not benefit from being married as men do. Indeed, married women have higher levels of stress than unmarried women and married men. 3) Gender Oppression: These theories suggest that not only are women different from or unequal to men, but that they are actively oppressed, and even abused by men and that power is the key variable. 4) Structural Oppression: this shows how women's inequalities are a result of capitalism, patriarchy, and racism. They make the important insight that not all women, experience inequalities in the same way. White women and black women, for example, may face different forms of discrimination in the workplace. Different types of feminist approaches

1) Marxist – feminist views: Marxist feminists suggest that the nuclear family meets the needs of the industrial society. They have focused on the contribution of domestic labour, i.e. housework and childcare to capitalist economies. In other words they believe that capitalism exploits women. Margaret Benston (1972) suggested that:

The nuclear family is important to...
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