Harriet Martineau & Gender Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #8

Harriet Martineau & Gender Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #8

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where my ladies at seriously we've spent a lot of time learning about the origins of sociology and all of the founders we talked about so far have been met that's because when sociology was becoming an academic discipline women didn't have the same access to education in fact it was considered improper in the 19th century for women to write articles and give talks to the public and this continued for decades with some of the top universities not allowing female students until the 1970s which sucks but it also raises an important question why do women and men get treated differently this is a question that sociologists can answer or well we can at least try to
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answer and gender conflict theory applies the principles of conflict theory to the relations among genders specifically it looks at how social structures perpetuate gendered inequalities now the functionalist approach has historically held that gender inequalities are a natural result of each gender taking on the tasks they're best suited for many modern sociologists don't share this view economic and political power structures that reinforce traditional gender roles often cause more dysfunction than function restricting access to education by gender is a great example of this dysfunction denying women access to quality education makes our society worse by squashing half the world's
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potential sociologies understanding of society wouldn't be complete without the women and feminists who started the conversation about gender as an academic field of study first stop sociologist forgotten founder Harriet Martineau Oh [Applause] hairy's Martino was the first female sociologist born in 1802 in England unlike marks or Durkheim or Weber who are hailed as the forefathers of sociology and entire chapters devoted to their theories Martineau typically gets at most a couple of sentences in a textbook Fernando started out kind of
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like the crash course of her time bringing research to the masses an easily digestible bites she wrote a best-selling series called illustrations on political economy which used fables in a literary style of writing to bring the economic principles of Adam Smith to the general public she was a favorite of many of the leading intellectuals at the time even Queen Victoria who loved Martineau's writing so much that she invited Martineau to her coronation but this was just the start Martin Oh decant for the United States in spent two years traveling the country observing social practices she went from north to south from small towns to Washington DC sitting in on sessions of
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Congress a Supreme Court session and a meeting with President Madison she then captured her observations in two books society in America and how to observe morals and manners the first was a set of three volumes that identified principles that Americans profess to hold dear like democracy justice and freedom then she documented the social patterns that she had served in America and contrasted the values that Americans thought they held with the values that were actually enshrined in their economic and political systems Martineau's observations included some of the first academic observations of American gender rules and she dedicated much of the third volume to the study of
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marriage female occupations and the health of women despite the title of her second book how to observe morals and manners it was not a guide to etiquette it was a treatise on research methodology describing how to do cross-cultural studies of morals and moral behavior Martineau talked about interviewing sampling bias and observation the problem of generalizing from individuals to a whole society many of the hallmarks of modern research she wrote about class religion suicide nationalism domestic life gender crime health and this was all the four marks before Durkheim before Weber and her English translations of comps work on
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positivist sociology were so good that Comte himself told her I feel sure that your name will be linked with mine but of course Kampf was wrong soon after her death Martinez work was forgotten it wasn't until the 1970s when feminist scholars began to revisit her work that the full extent of her influence on sociology began to be realized that's right feminist scholars now I know for many people feminism is a loaded term and I want to make sure we're clear about the historical and sociological context for feminism as I'm using it here here we're defining feminism as the support for social equality among genders this is an
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opposition to patriarchy a form of social organization in which institutional structures like access to political power property rights and occupations are dominated by men so feminism isn't just associated with activism it's also a scholarly term feminist theory is one school of thought in the study of gender and over time feminism has gone through many different forms often categorized as waves let's go to the thought-bubble to look at what's known as feminism first wave in the 19th and early 20th century the first wave of feminism focused on women's suffrage or the right to vote and other legal inequalities that's because in the 19th century all property
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and money that a woman had legally belongs to her husband imagine that not being able to earn a salary that was your own not being able to own land not being able to write a will and on top of that you can't vote which makes it a little hard to change these things it was these issues that prompted the start of the women's rights movement which began with a meeting of 300 like-minded women and a few men in Seneca Falls New York in 1848 early feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the meeting to put forth a manifesto on women's rights which became known as the declaration of sentiments this convention was the spark that set off the women's suffrage movement in the
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United States it took many years of activism court cases speeches protests and hunger strikes until women finally won the right to vote in 1920 thanks thought-bubble the first wave of feminism didn't only affect legal issues it was also where many of the ideas about societal roles and gender first got their start cake Charlotte Perkins Gilman for example you might recognize her at the author of the short story the Yellow Wallpaper but she was also a sociologist and social activist early in the 20th century she published papers and books on society's assumptions about gender focusing on marriage childbearing and the assumed roles of women as housekeepers and men
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as breadwinners she wrote there is no female mind the brain is not an organ of sex might as well speak of a female liver notice how she worded that the brain is not an organ of sex sex refers to biological distinctions between females males and intersex individuals but gender refers to the personality traits and social roles the society attaches to different sexes think about it this way do men and women act the same way across all cultures and time periods if gender arose only from biological differences between men and women we would expect to see all cultures defining femininity and masculine
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in the same ways but we don't from the work of anthropologist Margaret Mead in the 1930s to the research done today by economist Yuri candy and John list scientists have found the general change among societies and over time and this idea the idea that gender has societal origins has formed the backbone of the second wave of feminism looks like the second sex by Simone de Beauvoir and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan argued against the idea that women were a lesser sex who should be resigned to taking care of the children in the home the second wave of feminism focused on female participation in the labor force equal pay reproductive rights sexual violence educational equality and
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divorce this was the era of title 9 the legalization of contraception and abortion no-fault divorce laws and the Equal Pay Act but it was also an era of divisive nough switch in the feminist movement with many fearing that women in positions of power focused on issues most relevant to white upper-middle class women these divisions led to what's known as the third wave of feminism starting in the 1990s which has focused on broadening the definition of feminism to encompass issues of race class sexuality in other forms of disadvantage key ideas evoke by the third wave are nicely represented by author and feminist bell hooks in her book Anaya woman hooks write the process
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begins with the individual woman's acceptance that American women without exception are socialized to be racist classist and sexist in varying degrees that's a heavy statement most people don't think of themselves as racist or sexist but one of the underlying ideas behind third wave feminism is the acknowledgment of the structures of power that create inequality across gender race class and other dimensions of disadvantage there's a term that's used a lot in modern day feminism which maybe you've heard used recently intersectionality so what is intersectionality you add a little race conflict theory in with gender conflict
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theory in a smidge of Marxist theories about class conflict and you get intersectionality the analysis of how race class and gender interact to create systems of disadvantage that are interdependent the term intersectionality was coined by race and gender theorist Kimberly Williams Crenshaw she wrote that the experience of being a black woman couldn't be understood just by understanding the experience of a black person or the experience of a woman independently instead you have to look at how these identities intersect how you yes you in particular you see society and see yourself is going to be wrapped up in
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all the identities you have I as a cisgender white woman will have a different experience in the world as a result of my own interlocking identities and when it comes to our under standing of gender in the societal mix we have to thank Harriet Martineau whose work was one starting point from which the waves of feminism unfolded today we learned about Harriet Martineau and gender conflict theory we also explored the three ways the feminism as well as intersectionality next time we'll look at another important figure in sociology Max Weber crash course sociology is filmed in the doctor Cheryl C Kinney studio in Missoula Montana and it's made with the help of all of these nice
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people our animation team is thought cafe and crash course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud if you'd like to keep crash course free for everyone forever you can support the series at patreon a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love speaking of patreon we'd like to thank all of our patrons in general and we'd like to specifically say our headmaster of learning david such oh thank you for your support [Music] [Music]

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