Feminist sociologist, Dorothy Smith argues that sociology has been biased and exclusive towards a white male perspective of society. Furthermore, Smith argues that sociology focuses on class struggles as well as ways of managing and governing society, which are the core components in oppression seen in women. Smith uses an intersectionality perspective to show the ways social theory perceives society that rarely reflects women’s concerns and struggles. Smith goes on to question the history of sociology and the ways theory would be affected if given a feminist point of view. Furthermore, when discussing Theordor Adorno’s argument of culture industry, it highly lacked a feminist perspective of how media is used to target women’s beauty standards and reinforce social roles. Furthermore, Erving Goffman’s theory of social interactions scarcely discussed the performances expected of women’s roles, which further creates female oppression. Both Adorno and Goffman provided important concepts to social theory, however, they never made means to incorporate feminist perspectives in their work, in addition, Smith offers perspectives on how these theories would be altered when discussed through a different lens. Furthermore, Dorothy Smith argues that social theory offers little female perspective, especially seen in large concepts such as media. This application can be seen in Adorno’s argument of culture industry, in which mass media is used as a mechanism to hinder people’s ability to
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Today women in developed countries enjoy many freedoms from social stigmas and oppressions in the work force, although, they are still not completely equal to their male counterpart. There are still women being paid less than men doing the same job and there is the idea that prices for female products are raised slightly higher than it is for men for the same products; however, this does not compare to the kind of oppression women went through in the 1890s. Charlotte Perkins Gilman embodied the oppression of females in the 1890s in her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” which depicts a mother and wife going through postpartum depression while struggling with her male physicians and husband over her treatment plan. Critic Frances Baskerville sums Gilman’s intention for her story stating, “Her [Gilman’s] fiction was intended as a vehicle for her feminist and socialist themes, a means of persuading a general audience” (Baskerville line 2). Although one of the issues of “The Yellow Wallpaper” is dealing with postpartum depression, one of the main themes of the short story is female oppression and what everyday life was like for women in her time.
Throughout today’s society, media contributes to almost everyone’s daily life. From informative news channels to comical television shows, media proves to be effective in advertisement, releasing messages and informing the audience. Although media proves to be wildly effective in advertising, releasing messages and informing the audience, periodically destructive and misleading messages are provided to the audience and directly influencing women. Cultural critics widely agree that media tends to negatively influence women and all the critics point to research which supports the belief that women are portrayed as subordinate to men, having no
Their stance may not have been as boisterous then as it is now, but they have always played an important role within the formation of todays’ society. The final attribute, studied within this chapter, supports this notion with the rise of female workers within America. Some of the most famous women social employees were: Jane Addams, Charlotte Gilman, Anna Cooper, Ida Wells-Barnett, Marianne Weber, and Beatrice Webb. Each of these women were still looked upon as inferior to men despite their contributions to society as a whole. These women believed sociology was developed from scholarly investigations that helped to attribute to the ideology of improving ones’ life through education and learning means. The women believed that this change would bring about both a sense of belong for women within cultural societies as well as modeling the community into a world in which everyone can coincide together. Their work would not be accounted for under the sociological realm of study… but it would be attributed to the greater sense of communal study as it is known
Women have always been fighting for their rights for voting, the right to have an abortion, equal pay as men, being able to joined the armed forces just to name a few. The most notable women’s rights movement was headed in Seneca Falls, New York. The movement came to be known as the Seneca Falls convention and it was lead by women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton during July 19th and 20th in 1848. Stanton created this convention in New York because of a visit from Lucretia Mott from Boston. Mott was a Quaker who was an excellent public speaker, abolitionist and social reformer. She was a proponent of women’s rights. The meeting lasted for only two days and was compiled of six sessions, which included lectures on law, humorous
Dorothy Smith’s approach challenges Sociological Theory and the way it has been constructed. She offered a framework to close the gap between the objective knowledge and the personal experiences that people encounters in everyday life. Most importantly, Smith challenges one of the most traditional sociological discourses of male dominance through the use of concepts, theologies, and textual concepts that confines human behavior. Her framework known as institutional ethnography constitutes that bridge between the macro and micro level in society. She also focuses in marginal groups from the micro level and the way their agency is conceptualized to and dominated by the macro level’s ruling relations. She takes women and her experiences to rebuild this framework from a standpoint of inquiry rather than social scientific inquiry. At the end, she sets forward a new goal for marginal groups inner circle to be interconnected with the subjective world and influencing the ongoing theoretical method to find the overall meaning of women. She doesn’t only challenge the official and personal texts mediating the relation of ruling between the abstract theories and the standpoint of women, but she challenges women to be part of a sociological turn for them instead of contributing the limitations of sociological discourses and theories.
Mamie Smith had a huge influence on many African-American woman during the Reconstruction Era. She paved the way for African-American blues singers during this time. Her career began when she was ten, and it only grew from there. She danced, sung, and performed all over the United States, growing and growing in popularity. She recorded songs which inspired many people, and she showed that African-Americans were as capable as the people around them.
Media, one of the most influential reflections of culture, under represents women and displays them in stereotypical positions. Paula Lobo and Rosa Cabecinhas, Professors of Communication at University of Minho, highlight sex-discrimination within the media in
Gender and the Media by Rosalind Gill addresses gender stereotypes that are brought onto women and men through the media resulting in objectification and subjectification. Gill discusses how the representation of gender is altered as a result of the media in Western societies. Gender and the Media is aimed to address the rapid transmission of media and how those changes affect the construction of feminine and masculine gender roles in society. Gill uses her interest in the contradictions of gender construction by society, to analyze gender and the media. Using feminism as a backbone for her research, Gill and many commentators support the idea that feminist ideas are common and may even affect the media. Gender and the Media addresses multiple forms of media: postfeminism in advertising, gender in the news and journalism, and gender in magazines. Gild aims to address the construction of gender representations, elements for gender analysis, and feminist culture with Gender and the Media.
Beginning to hone in her construct of analysis Smith began developing her work and writings with the concrete actualities of the everyday women. Smith’s formulation of this of work was the “Women’s experience as a radical critique of sociology”.
“The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer is a pivotal article in history that changed the way in which many communications scholars viewed media. Both authors were members of the Frankfurt School, a school of thought which looked further into Karl Marx’s theories about capitalism and the issues of mass production. Published in 1944, Adorno and Horkheimer revealed their beliefs that the media, much like the economy, is becoming mass produced, and is therefore turning people in society into media-consuming robots. Industrialization created work lives for people in which they would work on only one part of a larger machine. As a result, they felt less involved in the completion of the project as a whole, and therefore felt less pride in their jobs and their lives in general. Instead, these people turned to media and pop culture so that they would feel more fulfillment within their lives. Adorno and Horkheimer believed that these people had a reduced capacity for original thought because media is now force feeding them the ideas of what they can think and feel. This essay will prove that although Adorno and Horkeimer’s points were justified through the eyes of authors George Lipsitz, Lev Manovich, and Susan J. Douglas, there are still exceptions to their theories that they do not account for.
Gloria Jean Watkins, known by her pen name Bell Hooks (the name of her great grandmother), was born September 25, 1952. She grew up to be the author of more than three dozen books, the topics of which range from gender, race, and class, to spirituality, and contemporary media. Hooks attended Stanford University, The University of Wisconsin, and The University of California, Santa Cruz, eventually earning her P.h.D. In her article, “Understanding Patriarchy,” Hooks argues that patriarchy isn’t only harmful to women, it’s harmful to men as well, in different ways. Patriarchy sets rigid gender roles that say women are to be docile, obedient, and nurturing, while men should be violent, dominating, and aggressive. This ideal greatly emotionally stunts men, and makes it so that they cannot express themselves in any way other than aggression. In this article, Hooks was very effective in explaining and giving examples as to why the patriarchy negatively affects both men and women, and that it is up to both to break free from these constraints and work together to end the patriarchy.
Therefore, feminist sociology is not effective in leading women towards change or an end to dominant heterosexual assumptions that put patriarchy at power. Thus, it is difficult for women to breakthrough the oppression merely on theories and lacking practical action or reforms. When sociologists, such as Smith uses categories to analyze the relationship between women and her male counterpart, she draws on this notion that there is this believed or assumed natural heterogender relationship in society. As Smith proposed, men are able to work in the public materialist world and contribute to the everyday capitalist world is due to the existence of a female figure working within the private sphere to support the workings within the household, and in turn, make a patriarchal and capitalist society possible. Therefore, there is the assumed husband and wife, nuclear family in the household, with each playing their part and indicating that every individual is required to situate themselves as actors in this
Feminism and feminist social theory unlike other theoretical perspectives is woman-centered and inter-disciplinary, hence promotes methods of achieving social justice. The feminism and feminist social theory takes into consideration three questions, what of the women? Why is the present social world as it is today? Additionally, how can the social world be changed to make it more just for the women and all people alike? In recent developments, feminist theorists have begun questioning the differences between women. The areas under question include race, ethnicity, class, age intersect, and gender. In summation, the feminist theory involves the concern with giving women world over voice, and highlighting how they have contributed to the
According to women sociologist Martineau, feminist sociology has focused on power relationships and inequalities between men and women.How can the condition faced by women be addressed,(Little, 2014, p .31). Marx’s critique of capitalism and the feminist of patriarchy for example led to very interesting insights into how structures of power and inequality work, but from a point of view that sees only the most revolutionary transformation of society as a solution,(Little, 2014 , p. 32).