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www.educationforum.co.uk1 Theoretical Perspectives: Feminism and the New Right This presentation outlines both the feminist and the New Right perspectives.

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Presentation on theme: "www.educationforum.co.uk1 Theoretical Perspectives: Feminism and the New Right This presentation outlines both the feminist and the New Right perspectives."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Theoretical Perspectives: Feminism and the New Right This presentation outlines both the feminist and the New Right perspectives on the family

3 Feminism Most feminists believe that the family oppresses women and keeps men in power Feminists believe that society is patriarchical (men dominate) Patriarchy is defined as the combination of systems, ideologies and cultural practices which keep men in power. The three types of feminism – liberal, radical, marxist aim to challenge patriarchy in different ways

4 Liberal feminists Liberal feminists believe that the family is sexist because its supports mainstream culture which is also sexist. They advocate change through legislation and education

5 Liberal feminists believe that social change can be enacted through changes in the law and social policy. For example; Equal Pay Act, Sex Discrimination Act Laws against domestic violence, marital rape. Better education – equal opportunity at work and education Liberal feminists

6 Radical feminists believe that Patriarchy is central source of division in society. Essentially men exploit women as husbands, partners, sons, brothers. This exploitative relationship is reflected in the family in which women do all the work for the benefit of men Radical feminists

7 The family is an exploitive institution The notion of ‘family’ excludes those who pursue different lifestyles Men will always exploit women The family is the source of domestic violence Some advocate separation of men and women Radical feminists believe -

8 Evaluation:- There are different ‘versions’ of radical feminism. Extreme groups advocate separatism and political lesbianism – (adopting a sexual preference for political reasons). Radical feminists identify the principle source of division in society to be gender – hence “the personal is political.” Radical feminists

9 Marxist Feminists see the principle source of division in society to be class – the exploitation of women is essential for the continuation of capitalism The family produces and nurtures next generation workers at no cost to the capitalists – housework is unpaid labour Women are also a very useful source of cheap labour Ansley suggests that the family and women soak up male working class frustration instead of it being channelled against the capitalist system Marxism

10 Socialist Feminists Talk of the “dual oppression of women” first as workers then as women. They therefore advocate a 2 pronged attack 1. Fight capitalism 2. Fight patriarchy Marxist Feminism

11 New Right Perspectives A very different interpretation of the family is given by the New Right. The New Right believes that the nuclear family is the bedrock of society. New Right ideas heavily influenced social policy while the Conservative Party were in government in the 1980’s and 1990’s and there are also elements of New Right thinking in aspects of New Labour’s policies.

12 The family is seen as the central stabilising feature of modern life. It promotes decency, manners, respect for property and the law, self reliance etc. This is in keeping with a functionalist view of the role of the family The New Right

13 New Right thinkers believe that the nuclear family has been undermined by social policies such as divorce legislation and welfare benefits. Divorce is seen as “too easy” and benefits “too generous” The New Right is alarmed by the growing numbers of single mothers The breakdown of the family is seen as the cause of rising crime. New Right thinking has had some influence on social policy – specifically making it harder for people to get benefits The New Right

14 The Influence of The New Right – Conservative M.P’s "The natural state should be the 2 adult family caring for their children" John Redwood Conservative M.P. 1993

15 The Influence of The New Right – Conservative leadership The traditional 2 parent family is best’ Michael Howard Conservative Party Leader

16 The influence of the New Right is sometimes surprising! One of the first things New Labour did after winning in 1997 was to call single mothers ‘workless’ and cut one parent benefit

17 The New Right fails to acknowledge unequal relationships in families (exploitation of women) The New right model of the family has been seen as intolerant and not inclusive – gay relationships, reconstituted families, unmarried parents and especially single mothers are all condemned by the logic of New Right thinking. Evaluation Of The New Right

18 Sources AS Sociology Revision CGP PublicationAS Sociology Revision CGP Publication E-Sociology Return to Families Lessons


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