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Gender Inequality - Research Paper Example

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Summary
Sociologists have adopted two approaches to try and explain gender inequality and male dominance. That is, Functionalism and conflict theories. In later years, the feminism developed feminism theories to analyze social experience of women in society…
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Gender Inequality
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Gender Inequality

Download file to see previous pages... Sociologists define gender inequalities as to the difference in status, prestige and power that women and men hold in groups, collectivities and in society at large. Thus, in examining gender inequality issues such as access to valuable resources need to be considered. (Giddens, 2006, p 468)
Functionalists’ theorists view on gender inequality
Functionalists’ theorists hold the view that gender inequality in society in terms of the division of labor between men and women is biologically based. Thus, men and women perform tasks that they feel they are biologically suited to. George Murdock an anthropologist concludes in her survey that sexual division of labour exists in all societies and thus sees it as both convenient and practical for women to concentrate on domestic and family roles. Talcolt Persons, a functionalist theorist asserts that the family as a social unit operates best when there is a clear division of labour among the genders with women performing the emotional and expressive role, that is, providing care and security to family and the men performing instrumental roles, that is, being the for family needs. (Giddens, 2006, p 468)
Conflicts theories view on gender inequality
Conflicts theories ideas on inequality are found in ideologies of to Karl Max and Fredrich Engels who viewed the cause of domination of women by men, as being rooted in class inequality. According to Engel, men gained control over women during the traditional subsistence days when societies produced more produce than required for family use. As a result of the surplus production, men gained control of the economic surplus. The male gender came up with strategies to ensure the dominance continued. The male gender devised two methods. They first brought forward the rule that only men could inherit property and secondly through the process of socialization and force which ensure women remain sexually faithful to their husbands. Engel noted that male domination increased tremendously after the industrial revolution developed since it made men wealthier and more powerful while it ensured women took a subordinate position since they involved in domestic roles. (Brym and John, 2009, p 266) Feminists’ theories view on gender inequality Feminists’ theories refer to the actions and beliefs that seek to support the justice, equality and fairness of all women regardless of their age, class or racial origin. (Anderson and Howard, 2007, p 326) Feminist theory seeks to understand the problems women undergo through so as to bring about their liberation in society. Feminist theories are important since they analyze gender and society as well as help bring social changes that tend to ensure social equality between men and women genders. Feminist theories have developed four major frameworks; the liberal feminism, socialist feminism, radical feminism and multiracial feminism. Liberal feminism argues that women inequality has its origins in traditions that act as barriers to the advancement of women. This movement emphasizes on equal opportunity and individual rights the as the basis for social reform and social justice. Liberal feminists argue that socialization of people based on their genders helps perpetuate because it involves learned customs that perpetuate inequality. Liberal feminism advocates for the abolishing of barriers that hinder women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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