Posts Tagged ‘feminism’
This is a feminist perspective that covers a wide range of different viewpoints, but at its core it refers to two broad ideas:
Firstly, a belief that gender equality – in contemporary Western societies such as Britain and America at least – has been broadly achieved.
Secondly, the claim that the 2nd wave feminism that brought both radical and Marxist feminist to the fore of the women’s movement from the 1960’s onwards has not only outlived its usefulness to women but is actually now responsible for making women frustrated, guilty and unhappy about their family and gender relationships.
As you might expect both of the above are contested claims, both politically and sociologically (McRobbie (2007), for example, suggests the concept of post-feminism refers to “an active process by which feminist gains of the 1970s and 80s come to be undermined”) – but it’s nevertheless worth outlining three of the key ideas of this general approach, something we can do with the help of a simple mnemonic:
We can flesh-out this simple idea in the following way:
And if you want something to add to your classroom walls, they’ve also produced some basic Sociology posters:
This set of Notes focuses on:
- Identifying the basic economic, political and cultural characteristics of modernity
- Relating these characteristics to the development of Consensus and Conflict Structuralism.
As the frequent reader of this blog (“Hi”) well-knows, I collect a lot of stuff on my travels around the web and I store it safely away for times such as this – when I’ve got a blog post to write and nothing to write it about (or at least nothing that takes the minimum amount of effort for the maximum amount of gain).
So, here I find myself desperately searching one of my seven hard drives (you read that correctly. I collect hard drives. Everyone should have a hobby and mine just happens to be hardware), for something and my eager gaze fell upon these lovelies – a set of six PowerPoints created by Danielle Ord (and apparently modified by Carole Addy), neither of whom I know but if I did I’d give them the credit they deserve.
While the focus for all kinds of feminism is on how and why media representations contribute to female inequality, different approaches produce different forms of explanation.
Liberal feminism generally focuses on how the mass media can be purged of sexist assumptions and representations, such that women in particular are neither stereotyped into a narrow range of roles nor represented in ways that disadvantage them in relation to men. Here, a combination of legal and social changes are the key to changing female representations; strong legal barriers to sexist representations coupled with moral changes in how we view male-female relationships and statuses are the means to ensuring the media represents gender in more-equitable and balanced ways.
Marxist feminism, drawing on its connections to Marxist economic analysis, focuses on the commodification of women under capitalism; the idea female bodies are represented as objects of desire; Gill (2003), for example, argues women are exploited by displays of naked female flesh because it represents them as consumer objects to be bought and sold by men. Commodification is also expressed in terms of how sexist stereotypes are used to sell a variety of consumer goods, from cars to newspapers.