Concepts for Exam 3 - Sociology 101 Important Concepts for...

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1 Sociology 101: Important Concepts for Exam 3 Contemporary Feminist Theories Gender: Socially constructed male and female roles, relations, and identities. Feminist Theory: A generalized, wide-ranging system of ideas about social life and human experience developed from a woman- centered perspective. There are 4 main subtypes of feminist theory: Gender Difference: Theories of gender difference answer the question “And what about the women?” by arguing that women’s location in, and experience of, most situations are different from that of men in the situation. Explanatory theories of gender difference locate the causes of gender difference in biology, in institutional roles, in socialization and in social interaction. We focused on the latter two types of theories which emphasize the gender categories are socially constructed through processes of segregation and boundary formation and the learning of male and female “gender scripts.” Gender Inequality: Theorists of gender inequality insist that women’s location in most situations is not only different but also less privileged than or unequal to that of men. We discussed one subtype of gender inequality theory: Liberal Feminism : Is a feminist theory of inequality that argues that women may claim equality with men on the basis of an essential human capacity for reasoned moral agency, that gender inequality is the result of a patriarchal and sexist patterning of the division of labor, and that gender equality can be produced by transforming the division of labor through the repatterning of key institutions - law, work, family, education, and media. Gender Oppression: Theorists of gender oppression argue that women are not just different from or unequal to men but that women are actively oppressed, restrained, subordinated, molded, and used and abused by men. Theorists of gender oppression see Patriarchy – a system in which men subjugate women. It is universal, pervasive in its social organization, durable over time and space, and triumphantly maintained in the face of occasional challenge – as a system of Domination any relationship in which one party (individual or collective) - the dominant - succeeds in making the other party (individual or collective) - the subordinate - an instrument of the dominant's will, and refuses to recognize the subordinate's independent subjectivity. We discussed two versions of gender oppression theory: Psychoanalytic Feminism: An effort to explain patriarchy through the use of reformulated theories of Freud and his successors in psychoanalytic theory. Psychoanalytic feminists see the root causes of gender oppression in (1) men’s fear of death or (2) male children’s premature resolution of the tension between individuation and recognition in patriarchal societies. Premature separation from their mothers leads male children to develop over-individuated personalities which can only achieve recognition of others through acts of control and domination.
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  • Fall '07
  • MCLAUGHLIN
  • Sociology, Feminism, gender oppression, Evelyn Fox Keller, gender oppression theory

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