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Feminist approaches to sociological theory

Q.1(b) Feminist approaches to sociological theory have developed out of historical sites of struggle for equality. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of four (4) different feminist theoretical orientations. Sociological theory is broadly concerned with structured forms of social inequality. Therefore, sociologist generally attempt to approach human behaviour and relations in terms of the particular social setting of different social groups, classes and etc. However, feminist critics of sociology have pointed out that sociological theorists have neglected gender as a central principle of social differentiation. Feminist sociologist argue that most sociological theory is characterised by a 'malestream' view of the social world in which women are either overlooked altogether or discussed as if they were identical to men. The concept used most frequently to capture structured power relations between the sexes is 'patriarchy'. This essay will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of four different feminist theoretical orientations. Liberal feminism Liberal feminists are the least 'radical' of all feminist perspectives. The main aim of the liberal feminists is the creation of equal opportunities, particularly in education and work. Probably the most positive thing liberal feminism has for itself is the fact that it has contributed to considerable social change, especially in relation to employment opportunities and conditions, and social policy. Liberal feminist themselves have not produced a clearly developed theory of gender, but they generally rely on role theory. One of the main strengths of liberal feminism is that they aim for gradual change in the political, economic and social systems of Western societies which, it is assumed, will in turn transform gender roles. This is considered a strength because it is a reasonable and realistic accomplishment. Li...

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Feminist approaches to sociological theory . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:51, July 06, 2015, from