Feminist Theory Research Paper

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When researching on feminist theory, I examined a number of important and central issues which should be considered, including:

• What is “theory”? What does it mean to theorize?
• What is specifically feminist about feminist theory?
• Are there specific methods for feminist theorizing?
• What is the relation of theory to everyday experience and practice?
• What are the implications of the diversity of feminist theories?

What is a theory? What does it mean to theorize?

A theory offers a general account of how a range of phenomena are systematically connected. By placing individual items in a larger context, it increases our understanding both of the whole and of the parts constituting the whole. Theory is
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It is also a prerequisite for developing effective strategies to liberate women and identifies the underlying causes of women’s subordination.
Dr. Rosemarie Tong a distinguished Professor of Health Care Ethics in the Department of Philosophy, suggests that feminist theory attempts to describe women’s oppression, to explain its causes and consequences, and to prescribe strategies for women’s liberation. In “Women Do Theory,” Jane Flax, a professor in the department of political science, suggests that theory is a systematic, analytic approach to everyday experience. Flax argues that everybody does this unconsciously and that to theorize is to bring this unconscious process to a conscious level so that it can be developed and refined.

According to Flax, feminist theory seeks to understand the power differential between men and women, seeks to understand women’s oppression—how it evolved, how it changes over time, how it is related to other forms of oppression and how to overcome these oppressions. She suggests that feminist theory is intimately related to action. Feminist theory is the foundation of action and there is no pretense that theory can be neutral. Within feminist theory is a commitment to change oppressive structures and to connect abstract ideas with concrete problems for political action. There has to be a commitment to do something
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•The weaknesses of Marxist Feminism include its obscuring differences between distinct economic classes of men and women and its failure to make room for issues unrelated to the nature and function of work (the sex-gender system).

•influence: Marxism, psychoanalysis, radical feminism
•key concepts: unity and integration of capitalist system and patriarchy
•explanation: women 's oppression is complexly determined by a variety of forces, including economic, social, psychological.
•Socialist feminism attempts to synthesize best insights of Marxist and Radical feminism. Capitalism, male do minance, racism, imperialism are intertwined and inseparable.
•Socialist feminism remains more historical than biological and more specific than universal: recognizes all the important differences among human beings—class, sex, but also age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation.
•Women, like all human beings, are constituted essentially by the social relations they inhabit. A woman’s life experience is shaped by all these various dimensions.
•Refuses to reduce oppression to one single type or
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