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Feminism - Essay Example

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In the feminist's view, the female has been regarded and treated as the weaker sex throughout history. Linda L Lindsey in her book, Gender Roles – A sociological Perspective, focuses on how gender roles are defined by three key sociological theories. …
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Download file to see previous pages The three theories are symbolic interaction, conflict theorist and functionalism. Of the three theories, symbolic interaction comes closest to supporting feminism.Functionalism is primarily concerned with the role that gender plays in social order. Conflict theorists are focused on the influence of gender in society. Functionalism and conflict theories are far too narrow in their interpretation to encompass all of the issues associated with feminism. Symbolic interaction, on the other hand is broader and far more relevant in its application to feminism. Symbolic interaction focuses on 'gender as socially constructed and how people do gender in everyday life.' (Lindsey. p.18) A combination of both biological differences and cultural beliefs have combined to contribute to the social construction of gender and the treatment of women in general.(Lindsey p.48). As Lindsey pointed out, 'socialization is the lifelong process by which, through social interaction we learn our culture, develop our sense of self, and become functioning members of society.'(p.51) In this vein, gender socialization is a method by which patterned gender roles are delegated as a result of a history of social interaction. Interaction operates to indoctrinate us by dictating our attitudes toward all social classes and groups and the persons comprising respective groups. Interaction is a learned behavior. The oppression of women in the feminist's view, is also a learned behavior. 'Gender roles are learned directly, through reprimands and rewards, and indirectly, through observation and imitation.' (Lindsey p.55) From an early age, children are segregated in play groups where boys take on stronger, more aggressive roles and girls take on the more nurturing roles. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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