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Feminism - Essay Example

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Sociology Feminism Background Feminism is an assortment of ideologies and movements that purpose to establish, define and defend equal economic, political and social rights for women. This engrosses pursuing the establishment of equivalent opportunities for women in education and occupation…
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Download file to see previous pages... These feminist movements have transformed the societies by attaining gender neutrality and the right to own property and get jobs. Feminists have succeeded in protecting women from sexual assault and domestic violence and advocating for the rights of women. Feminism has developed in distinct fields rather than in one cohesive concept. The labels that delineate these fields have differed. The most common feminist theories include radical feminism, liberal feminism, lesbian feminism, Marxist feminism, socialist feminism and materialistic feminism (Tandon 45). Historical development of Feminism Historiographers of contemporary western feminist movements often speak of a first wave feminism and second wave feminism (Kolmar & Bartkowski 26). Though there is known differences in the periodization of feminisms in numerous western nation cultures, there is, however, a general concurrence regarding the periodization of the two large movements. The first wave took place between 1860’s to 1920’s while the second wave took place from 1960’s and prolongs to present-day. Both these movements assisted in advancement of feminist knowledge. However, since western feminist intellectuals, during the first wave, had not attained much access to higher learning institutions, production and conveyance of feminist knowledge is much more tangled to the second wave than the first wave. Therefore, the current accumulation of feminist theory cannot be detached form the unparalleled access to institutions and public spheres (Hesse-Biber 57-60). Feminist theory was founded by a sequence of literatures. Juliet Mitchell’s “Women’s Estate”, Shulamith Firestone’s “The Dialect of Sex” and Betty Frieddan’s “The Feminine Mystique” are among the ancient literatures that engross the tenet of classical feminist theory (Hesse-Biber 61). Inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s renowned aphorism that women are not born but made, these literatures speedily attained a whole range of expressive, logical, and normative conceptions that have since become imperative for thoughtful feminist review. These leaned on delineations of women’s liberation, emancipation and oppression (Fisanick 68-72). The family constituted the chief object of review. Description of the structures of daily life in the contemporary world portrayed that the family as an institution ratifies a gendered division of work, as it downgrades women to the private scope and men to the public scope (Tandon 56). Feminist theorists discerningly reviewed the unjust effects for men and women resulting from the prescriptive of the private and public disparity. Provided that a woman’s natural social function comprised in reproducing the private scope of family, marriage and motherhood, her access to the public scope of making decisions, making law and taking part in politics remained limited (Fisanick 87). As a group, women did not enjoy equal parities, liberties and opportunities as their counterparts, the males. Feminists developed three primary research paradigms to contest the inequality among women and men and the monopoly of men in the public scope. These included the objective-deconstructive paradigm, constructive paradigm and objective deconstructive paradigm. Features of Feminism Some of the primary features of feminism are tied on the feminist approaches. The approaches to feminism are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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