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 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 ...

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