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Theories of Gender Oppression Chapters 12 and 13.

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Presentation on theme: "Theories of Gender Oppression Chapters 12 and 13."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theories of Gender Oppression Chapters 12 and 13

2 Please Note: These slides are meant to help students think about the material. They are not meant to replace reading the material or taking notes. Using these slides as your only means of garnering information could harm your ability to understand the content of this class. Please turn off cell phones, MP3 players and other technology of which I’m unaware.

3 What is Theory? 1) A set of assumptions that are used to develop testable hypothesis about reality. 2) Every theory has: Assumptions -educated guesses that cannot be proven. Propositions – statement of relationship between two or more ideas. Social Policy Implications – Formal rules that affect people living in particular locale

4 Classical Liberal Theory 1) Historical Significance of CLT Most influential theory shaping public policy today. Most influential theory shaping public policy today. Both Republicans and Democrats justify their policies using the foundation of CLT Both Republicans and Democrats justify their policies using the foundation of CLT CLT moved societies from theocracies to democracies in a period call “The Enlightenment.” CLT moved societies from theocracies to democracies in a period call “The Enlightenment.” CLT and Anarchy were contemporary theories vying for prominence in U.S, U.K. and France. CLT and Anarchy were contemporary theories vying for prominence in U.S, U.K. and France.

5 CLT continued 2) CLT assumptions about Human Nature Humans are rational Rationality is a mental capacity that allows all humans the ability to act on their own self-interest. Thus, we seek rewards and avoid punishments. Rationality is a mental capacity that allows all humans the ability to act on their own self-interest. Thus, we seek rewards and avoid punishments. Rationality creates: Rationality creates: Abstract Individualism -- Free Will Rules. Networks and Social Class Don’t Free Will Rules. Networks and Social Class Don’t Dualism: Mind/Body Split We are not governed by emotions or social pressure We are not governed by emotions or social pressure

6 Are We Rational? Myth/Fact? Annual job reviews increase productivity. Annual job reviews increase productivity. Teaching about birth control in schools increases teenage pregnancy Teaching about birth control in schools increases teenage pregnancy Politicians are equally influenced by constituents regardless of money/power Politicians are equally influenced by constituents regardless of money/power Supreme Court Justices are neutral Supreme Court Justices are neutral I always make the most economically rational decision for myself and my family I always make the most economically rational decision for myself and my family

7 Dan Arielly: Predictably Irrational 92HVI Start at –2:39

8 CLT Cont Problems with Abstract Individualism and Dualism. How do these problems affect Meritocracy – the driving assumption of our society.

9 CLT Continued 3) Propositions 3) Propositions Given assumptions about rationality, the following propositions exist: a) Neutral state exists so that it can control inevitable conflict that will occur due to rational people pursuing their best interest b) Education ensures that people will act rationally rather than based on emotions (such as bias, racism, sexism, etc).

10 Applying CLT to Classical Liberal Feminist Theory 1) Use the same assumptions and propositions as CLT. 2) They argue that oppression occurs because they are acting irrational.

11 CLFT Policy for Ending Oppression 1) Education 2) Government sanctions

12 Marxism 1) Marx and Historical Materialism Social context of Marx’s writings Social context of Marx’s writings What is historical materialism What is historical materialism

13 Marxism 2) Marxism – A) Assumptions of human nature species being – given that production and reproduction are fundamental…. B) Propositions B) Propositions Class is relational Capitalism causes: exploitation, alienation, false consciousness, hegemony State and other institutions are tools of capitalists. Hegemony is a tool capitalists use to maintain power. C) Policy to end oppression: ? C) Policy to end oppression: ? D) Marx’s problem about other oppression besides class. D) Marx’s problem about other oppression besides class.

14 Socialist Feminism 3) What do Socialist Feminists claim? A) Assumptions about human nature – A) Assumptions about human nature – Species being – no group enjoys oppression, be it class, gender or race. Species being – no group enjoys oppression, be it class, gender or race. B) Propositions B) Propositions Capitalists will organize society so that they benefit from patriarchy (public/private split). Men as a group organize so that they benefit from patriarchy (Public/private split) The State works for capitalists

15 SF continued C). Solutions to End Oppression C). Solutions to End Oppression Get rid of public/private split, class oppression. Get rid of public/private split, class oppression.

16 Radical Feminism 1) History – This theory emerged in the sixties. Critiqued Marxist theory. 2) What do Radical Feminists claim? A)Assumptions – Patriarchy-- Men as a group desire control over women as a group and organize society around oppression. Other theories cannot explain footbinding, infibulation, sex trafficking, porn. etc. B) Propositions: Men and women control women through: Controlling Motherhood (and devalue it) Controlling Sexuality State helps in control by failing to write laws or writing laws that allow men to control women’s bodies and role in society. C) Solutions -- Allow women to control motherhood and sexuality.

17 Multi-Racial Feminists 1) Assumptions Species Being; the world will always be heterogeneous. Oppression exists when people deny differences. Species Being; the world will always be heterogeneous. Oppression exists when people deny differences. 2) Propositions People’s racial identities lead to macro-level segregation, which leads to oppression. (for instance, biology shows people who live closer have chromosomes most similar). Racism and Sexism are organizing principles of society. Segregation leads to different kind of sexism and classism in homes of people of color. 3) Solutions: Get rid of segregation Understand the relational nature of race oppression.

18 Post-Modern Feminists 1) Assumptions – Positivism is false. There is no knowable reality. Just people struggling to control what is considered knowledge. 2) Propositions – Oppression is caused by powerful people controlling language, discourse. For example, many of us believe violence is everywhere because media. 3) Solutions – Open up media and other institutions so everyone has opportunity. Solution: Reality needs to be deconstructed to examine how power is used. Deconstruction is: Breaking down social reality to examine the subtext embedded beneath the surface of social reality.

19 Feminism What is it? Why does the word have such a bad rap? History of Feminist Movement First Wave – cult of true womanhood, moral First Wave – cult of true womanhood, moral Second Wave – equality, consciousness-raising Second Wave – equality, consciousness-raising Third Wave? – Women should exploit the little power they have Third Wave? – Women should exploit the little power they have


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