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Chapter 1

SOCY 226 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Radical Feminism, Ethnography, Political Lesbianism

Social Sci, Edu and Soc Work - Sociology
Course Code
SOCY 226
Ryan Martin

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SOCY 226 Tutorial Patriarchy and Radical Feminism
1) Explain as clearly as you can what Dorothy Smith means by standpoint.
Can you think of anyways in which adopting this approach would challenge
some of the perspectives covered so far?
Standpoint The perspective of women and their point of view is centered
o Looking at women’s everyday activities and how it shapes their
o It might be hard for us to understand why this is important because
we lose track of where we’ve come from – Dorothy Smith
Male dominate knowledge in today’s society – Female’s feel
oppressed historically
o Women historically marginalized and feelings of oppression
2) Can you explain how standpoint might works as a research method? How
would we build sociology in this way?
As methodology:
o Study the actual experiences of women
Done through case studies, interviews, historical documents
Forms of ethnography Text (documents) you can see
power operate in text, it is a material form of power
o The way we read a text has to do with our
position in society
3) What do you think is the most radical idea in radical feminism? What is
the most significant cause of gender inequality in different strands of radical
The most radical idea in radical feminism would be abolishing the patriarchy
Men are the start of all gender inequalities the patriarchy begins all
inequalities until the patriarchy is abolished, there will always be
Biological differences between men and women (biological determinism)
o Men have created that women are naturally, biologically nurturing
and caring because they produce babies Whereas men are better at
rational work and labour.
Revolution consciousness raising
Most radical part of radical feminists Political lesbianism, living
communally and rejecting men
4) A key social problem for radical feminism is pornography. How would the
current proliferation and availability of pornography be approached through
these perspectives?
(CRITIQUE FOR RADICAL FEMINISM) Pornography has a positive thing
sexual liberation, sexual freedom
Availability of porn is a vision of freedom
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