NAME: in their analysis of the family, their

NAME:                        YASIR   KABIR

 

 

COURSE:         NCUK/IFY

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TOPIC:             FEMINIST ANALYSIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
CONTINUES TO MAKE AN                                          IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WAYS
THE FAMILY IS UNDERSTOOD.

 

 

DATE GIVEN:  25th November, 2017.

 

 

DATE SUBMITTED:

 

 

 

 

TUTOR:            Mr. Adigwe

 

 

 

 

 

Table of
Contents

Title page…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1

Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

1.      Who are the Feminists?
………………………………………………………………………………………..4

2.      Feminist analysis in the
21st century……………………………………………………………………………..4

3.      Feminist analysis of the family………………………………………………………………………………………5

4.      How feminism has changed
the way the family is viewed …………………………………………….6

5.      Relevance of the feminist
analysis to today…………………………………………………………………..6

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7

Reference List…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

            The
history of feminism dates back to the 19th century and early 20th
century. The theory emerged from various feminist movements championed by women
who felt that the female gender has continuously been unequally treated in
human societies. This theory focuses on the need to eradicate inequality by
promoting the rights and interests of women in the society. As a theory
feminism has made significant contribution to the various aspects of the
society, one of which is the family.

Sociologically, the family
is regarded as the nucleus of the society that determines the shape and
foundation of all societies. The family is considered as a source of comfort,
support and companionship but the feminists do not view the family as a
harmonious institution but as a platform for the exploitation of women and the
perpetuation of, loneliness and inequality. In other words, the feminists
nullify the myth of the traditional family. Although the feminists scholars share
similar ideas in their analysis of the family, their views and approach vary in
their analysis depending on which school of thought they belong to.

            In
this piece of academic endeavor the liberal, Marxists and Radical feminists
will be x-rayed to see how they contribute to our understanding of the nature
of the family in the 21st century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO ARE
THE FEMINISTS

The feminists are a group
of people who are advocates and supporters of the rights and equality of women.
The main argument of the feminist is that women are dominated by men in the society;
they feel that both genders, that is the male and female should be treated
equally by giving them equal rights and privileges in the society. The feminists
promote their ideologies through; protests, movements, advocacy workshop
seminars, campaigns etc. Although the feminist aim at promoting the rights of
women they are categorized into different groups. These groups are:

·        
The Liberal feminists; Feminists under this group place their
emphasis on promoting legal and political rights of women.

 

·        
The Marxist feminists;

The Marxist feminists
adapt principles of Marxism to show how capitalism uses the family to oppress
women. Marxist feminists look at class and gender inequalities as the main
systems of oppression.

 

·        
The Radical feminists;

The Radical feminists see
society as patriarchal or male dominated. They feel that female domination by
men is the most universal form of domination.

Despite all the
differences between these groups of feminists, all of them come to one
conclusion which is the need to promote the rights of female gender in the
society by ensuring that females are given equal privileges in the society.

 

FEMINIST ANALYSIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Feminism has been given
more attention in the 21st century than in the past; there have been
many changes in the lives of women today. Feminists in the 21st
century focus on policies which might improve the position of women in the
society; Jennifer Somerville in Haralambos (2008: 8) makes a huge contribution
in this respect. She argues that most feminists have not been considering
progress that has been made for women in the society such as; increase in
employment opportunities and increased choice for women, more gender equality
in marriage etc. Despite all these opportunities women are still disappointed
in men. However some men do not take the full share of their responsibilities
which makes the feminists more un-satisfied. According to Haralambos and
Holborn (2008): Jennifer Somerville states that more equality can be achieved
by increased flexibility in paid employment and change in the institutional
framework which promotes inequality.

 

FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF THE FAMILY

For many people the family is
regarded as a vital source of; comfort, love and companionship while the
Feminists see the family as a source of exploitation and inequality. Various sociologists
have analysed the importance of family life in the society but the feminists
have been highly critical of the family as they challenge the notion of the
family as egalitarian and harmonious. They examine the experiences of women in
domestic spheres by placing an emphasis on 3 main topics, they are;

·        
Domestication of labour

·        
Unequal power relationships

·        
Study of caring activities

 

 

·        
Domestication of labour:

There are differences in
analysis about the emergence of this division depending on the group of feminists.
The Marxist feminists claim it is an outcome of industrial capitalism which has
brought about distinction of domestic labour, which has been crystallized into male
and female spheres. The radical feminists claim it is linked to patriarchy.

 Feminist have made research  on housework shared between men and women
therefore they have investigated theories such as “symmetrical family” by
(Young and Willmott 1973) which states that families have started becoming more
equal in the division of roles and responsibilities. Further research has also
shown that women continue to suffer from too much workload in the family,
According to Anthony Giddens (2009): some sociologists have examined realisms
of paid and unpaid work focusing on contribution of women’s unpaid work (Oakley
1974).

 

·        
Unequal Power Relationships:

This point or aspect of
feminist analysis focuses on domestic violence. Feminists claim that issues
like wife battering, sexual abuse of children, incest and marital rape has
received more attention because these issues have been neglected in both
academic, legal, policy making contexts.

 

 

·        
Caring Activities:

Feminist claim that women are always
expected to show care, this encompasses a variety of processes such as;
attending to a family member who is ill, looking forward after the elderly
relatives and all other emotion work within relationships. Although women are
not the only ones who get involved in tasks such as child care, they play a
major role. According to Anthony Giddens (2009), Women do invest large amounts
in labour and maintaining personal relationships (Duncombe and Marsden, 1993).
In other words feminist invest a lot in caring activities grounded in love and
emotions, they are required to use their abilities to listen, perceive,
negotiate and act creatively.

Although some of these feminist
analyses include some generalisations, feminists have been able to highlight
the various problems women encounter in family life.

 

HOW FEMINISM HAS CHANGED
THE WAY THE FAMILY IS VIEWED

The feminist analysis of
the family has changed the way the family is viewed. Instead of seeing the
family as a harmonious institution, it is now seen as source
of domination and exploitation of women. The feminist analysis has had great
impact on the family. For example, in the western world where there is a huge
transformation in family forms, rise in divorce rate, single parenting, women
are increasingly choosing not to marry; 20% of women decide to remain childless
and unmarried by choice. All these are as a result of feminism.

 

 

RELEVANCE
OF FEMINISM TO TODAY

            Feminism
has been highly relevant in contemporary times, it has affected various aspects
of the society as its impact has been felt in social, political and cultural
aspects. The evidence of relevance of feminism are:

·        
Greater access to female education through advocacy by
feminists.

·        
Affirmative action by feminist groups that encourage the
award of 30% political position to women in modern democracies.

·        
Joint- Conjugal roles:

This is an emerging trend
in which the division of roles between the husband and the wife is not clear.
This implies that both the husband and wife share their responsibilities for
the smooth running of affair in the family.

 

·        
Asymmetrical family:

This is an emerging trend that negates
the domestic division of labour into male and female spheres. This is a type of
family in which the roles of the male and female have become more equal.
Recently, couples and family members assign roles to each member of the family where
each family member takes an equal contribution.

From the assertions above we can see
that feminism has been highly relevant and has led to some innovations in some
aspects of the society especially the family. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Women have been exposed to various
forms of domination and exploitation in the society especially through the
family they are expected to do all the house chores, take care of children and
all their work is not accounted for. With the rise of feminism women now have a
voice through which they can be heard feminism has brought a lot of changes
especially to family life. Now families are becoming more egalitarian as
housework is now been shared between the husband and wife, in some families the
mother goes out to work while the father stays at home to take care of the
children. With these changes in the society we can say that feminism has been
able to nullify the myth of the traditional family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE
LIST

·        
Giddens, A. (2009) Sociology. 6th ed.
Cambridge: Polity Press

·        
Haralambos, M & Holborn, M. (2008) Sociology: Themes
and Perspectives. London: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

·        
Mocionis, J & Plummer, K. (2008) Sociology: A Global
Introduction. England: Pearson Education Ltd.

·        
Revise Sociology. (2014) Feminist Perspectives on the
Family. Available at:https://revisesociology.com/2014/02/10/feminist-perspectives-family/ . (Accessed November 2nd,
2017)

·        
Socialist Review. (2009) 21st Century Feminism.
Available at: http://socialistreview.org.uk/340/21st-century-feminism .(Accessed November 3rd
, 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

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