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Feminism: A Sociological Overview

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´╗┐Feminism: A Sociological Overview -A.W. F eminism is the system of ideas and political practices based on the principle that women are human beings equal to men. As a system of ideas, feminism includes several alternative discourses ? liberal, cultural, materialist or socialist, radical, psychoanalytic, womanist, and postmodernist ? of which liberal and materialist have been most important to sociology. Liberal feminism argues that women are equal to men and works to obtain equal rights through political and economic action while basic-ally accepting the capitalist organization of society. Materialist feminism incorporates Marxist or socialist ideas and focuses on social production as the social process key to achieving equality. As political practice, feminism is understood as a social movement with two periods of high mobilization ? a ??first wave,?? 1792?1920 and a ??second wave,?? 1960?2008. Between first and second wave feminism, there is a period of relative quiet, a seeming ??hiatus.?? ??Third wave feminism?? refers to the ideas and actions of feminists who will spend the majority of their lives in the twenty-first century. ...read more.


Feminist sociology?s model of society builds on a view of social production from the standpoint of women. Social production includes all the labour necessary to maintain human life-paid work in the economy, unpaid work in the home, the production of material goods, emotional goods, order in time and space and the reproduction of the worker both biologically and daily in the activities of maintenance. Patriarchal ideology divides this work into public and private spheres and assigns to women of every class responsibility in the private sphere. The public sphere is organized around the unacknowledged assumption of on-going, uncompensated private sphere labour by women. These spheres overlap so that an individual?s position in one sphere affects their position in the other. Feminist studies of the gendering of work have produced a vocabulary that has entered the everyday world: i.e., the second shift, sexual harassment, equal pay, pay equity, comparable worth, municipal house-keeping, the glass ceiling, the ideal worker norm, juggling work and family. ...read more.


in which educated young people lived in settlements located in the poorest urban areas, building a neighbourly relation with the people there and working to alleviate social problems; women were a numerical majority of settlement residents and from this base women sociologists like Jane Addams rose to national and international prominence. In second wave feminism, women sociologists in the USA organized both within established professional associations and outside them as Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS); they demanded and achieved equity in the hiring of women and the support of women graduate students, a journal devoted to gender, Gender & Society, and power within the American Socio-logical Association, establishing the Section on Sex and Gender and promoting the election of eleven women as Association presidents since 1972. Important Note: This work is owed to ?The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology? published by the ?Wiley Publications? in 2011. Please acknowledge this information if you are to use this work for any of your writings. Thank You. -A.W. ...read more.

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