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Evaluate the contribution of feminist perspecties to an understanding of contemporary family life.

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Introduction

Feminists have very different vies of the family to Functionalists. Because functionalists believe that a family is a harmonious unit in which there are no negativities and everybody is equal. A feminist main belief is that the society we live in today is male dominated (patriarchal). Feminists are against men and believe that they are the enemy amongst a family. There are different types of feminists, which have slightly different views about the family and what it entails. Radical feminists believe that the patriarchal ideology leads to the domination of women and children whether it is in the family or within the wider society. Radical feminists also believe that rape and sexual assault are seen as evidence of male power and that the family is its basis for its maintenance. ...read more.

Middle

This is because their view believes that family structures can lead to the oppression of women by either men and/or capitalism. This has also led to analysis of family units in terms of relationships involving unequal power struggles. Because of this, the vision of the family in a feminist's perspective is a very different one to a functionalist, for example. Feminism is a very contemporary way of thinking as it only started arising from the 60's onwards and is based around a patriarchal society. The reasoning behind a feminist's point of view is the evidence of women in family life. For example evidence of growing domestic violence, marital rape and other negative parts of the family life. Feminists believe that patriarchy is the main cause for abuse of both women and children within the family. ...read more.

Conclusion

They do not disagree that male oppression of women does not exist in within the black families but they also state that inequalities exist in more than one dimension that some radical feminists suggest. There are, however some criticisms of the feminist perspective. They tend to only focus on the negative parts of the family, which is the total opposite of the functionalist approach. In recent years, because women have gained more choices, their family life has become more diverse. Feminists always assume that all families have a male who dominates the rest, which is not strictly true and can become quite prejudice against the male population as not every male is like that. New right claim feminists undermine traditional family values and because feminism has become a political agenda, feminists have over estimated of female inequality. ...read more.

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