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Pierre Bourdieu Bourdieu publicly held his view on masculine domination right up to his death and he broached what he referred to as ‘paradoxical’ break of masculine domination in several points. Bourdieu’s initial ethnographic studies show antagonism between masculine and feminine as the crucial classification and social division for the people in Southern Algerian Mountain…
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Download file to see previous pages His writings on distinction formulate the new model of social reproduction where ‘heirs’ certified their capabilities through exams before acquiring wealth. There are various perspectives in feminist and theoretical development in feminism across social sciences in the last three decades shifting from gender relations within the family, workplace and welfare states and differences between women and numerous identities. The unity in feminist theory is the view that gender is constructed socially thus this social construction is unequal since it produces and reproduces patriarchal structures of power through which men dictate and control women. Bourdieu believes gender difference to be inscribed in objectivity of social formations and subjectivity of mental structures. Thus, the dominant view of sexual division is expressed in all forms of discourse and practice; hence, sexual division appears to be a natural order since it exists in the embodied habitus and functions as a system of categories of thoughts, perception and action. Habitus is a system of dispositions learned through childhood and produces ‘a common sense world’, which becomes self-evident as it provides consensus on meaning of practices (Saugeres, 2009). Bourdieu points out that gender is constructed as two different natures, two systems of social differences inscribed in the body and mind that are dualistically opposed to the other. However, in this system what is socially perceived as male and masculine is considered superior and what is constructed as female and feminine is perceived to be inferior. Bourdieu empathises that symbolic domination never occurs in a conscious and knowledgeable way but rather in the habitus in which relations of domination are inscribed. Bourdieu’s theory is essential since it considers gender and looks at the relationship linking structure, practice and discourse. As widely documented, there are numerous social and economic changes transforming family life and patterns of male and female employment in many western countries (Saugeres, 2009; Fowler, 2003). Though, there have been huge increases in women engaged in employment in western countries, some aspects of gender inequality have been challenged with policies targeting these inequalities being put in place. Nevertheless, despite the changes in women labour market participation, gender division in the family has not been significantly altered with women primarily being responsible for taking care of children and performing unpaid work in the family. Despite equal opportunity legislation in western nations, on average, women have not gained equal pay for equivalent work. Women concentrate on low-paid, low-status employment with little chance of advancement in the gender segregated labour force (Fowler, 2003). Bourdieu argues that male domination is inscribed in social structures and people’s mental structures by its incorporation in an individual’s habitus. This domination is inscribed in institutions like family, government bureaucracy, educational system, literacy and labour market. Therefore, unequal power relations in which women are subordinated to men are reproduced in welfare regimes and state policies. Indeed feminist work indicate that welfare states can reinforce women economic vulnerability since sexual division of labour encourages discourses and ideologies like those of citizenship, masculinity, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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