Assessing the Feminist Revolution: The Presence and Absence of Gender in Theory and Practice

Myra Marx Ferree, Shamus Rahman Khan and Shauna A. Morimoto

in Sociology in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226090948
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226090962 | DOI:
Assessing the Feminist Revolution: The Presence and Absence of Gender in Theory and Practice

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This chapter traces the process of feminist mobilization in the U.S. It argues that the dramatic increase in the number of women in sociology since the early 1970s has produced a still-ongoing process of remaking sociological theory, methods, and organizational practice by drawing attention to two previously ignored phenomena: the social structures that produce gender and the gender relations that shape all social structures. Central to this project is the overthrow of the sex roles model of the 1950s. Feminist sociologists went beyond their initial critique of its normative prescription of a specific form of family relations to reject its underlying assumption of binary social roles. As a result, a new, structural understanding of gender has emerged that draws from and contributes to the sociological analysis of inequality in general. It is argued that women's own struggle to enter and change sociology has been the engine driving this theoretical transformation from the end of the 1960s through the present.

Keywords: sociology; feminism; feminist mobilization; gender relations; social structures; gender roles

Chapter.  16849 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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