Citation

Inspirations & Hindrances from Trying to Fit a Feminist-Shaped Peg into a Marxist-Shaped Hole

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Abstract:

There is no dispute over the influence of Marxist thought on American feminism. The commonalities between the two ideologies stem from an analysis of hegemony, power stratification, oppression, and consciousness as well as the activism involved to reshape the social structures that create oppression and hegemony. Marxist feminists have used historical materialism to trace the development of patriarchy, just as Marx deciphered capitalism with the same method. However, Marxism focuses on economic oppression, using terminology and concepts that overlook gendered oppression in the private sphere. In Marx and Engels’ analysis of oppression, women’s roles were limited to workers who enlist in the war against capitalism with the latter’s demise being the catalyst for new relations between men and women in the public sphere only. Here, feminist causes are subsumed by Marxist ideals of an absolute revolution that takes apart the old ways of thinking and being. Instead, feminism has historically made larger strides in incremental reform of existing social structures. Whereas Marxist thought focuses on a zero-sum game that equates woman’s gain to man’s loss, feminism presents a positive-sum game, uplifting woman, to the benefit of both man and woman. This paper will further explore the elements of Marxism as it applies to feminism using an article by Erik Olin Wright that attempts to shave feminism into the ideals of Marxism when the solution is really a synthesis of the two ideologies in a tradition that ranks Marxism before feminism.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

feminist (48), women (46), femin (39), social (27), marxism (27), marxist (25), gender (23), marx (23), equal (21), class (17), revolut (17), engel (17), capit (16), one (15), movement (15), utopia (14), wright (14), mckelvi (14), labour (14), patriarchi (13), within (12),
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p504992_index.html
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MLA Citation:

McKelvy, Josephine. "Inspirations & Hindrances from Trying to Fit a Feminist-Shaped Peg into a Marxist-Shaped Hole" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV, Aug 19, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p504992_index.html>

APA Citation:

McKelvy, J. , 2011-08-19 "Inspirations & Hindrances from Trying to Fit a Feminist-Shaped Peg into a Marxist-Shaped Hole" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p504992_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: There is no dispute over the influence of Marxist thought on American feminism. The commonalities between the two ideologies stem from an analysis of hegemony, power stratification, oppression, and consciousness as well as the activism involved to reshape the social structures that create oppression and hegemony. Marxist feminists have used historical materialism to trace the development of patriarchy, just as Marx deciphered capitalism with the same method. However, Marxism focuses on economic oppression, using terminology and concepts that overlook gendered oppression in the private sphere. In Marx and Engels’ analysis of oppression, women’s roles were limited to workers who enlist in the war against capitalism with the latter’s demise being the catalyst for new relations between men and women in the public sphere only. Here, feminist causes are subsumed by Marxist ideals of an absolute revolution that takes apart the old ways of thinking and being. Instead, feminism has historically made larger strides in incremental reform of existing social structures. Whereas Marxist thought focuses on a zero-sum game that equates woman’s gain to man’s loss, feminism presents a positive-sum game, uplifting woman, to the benefit of both man and woman. This paper will further explore the elements of Marxism as it applies to feminism using an article by Erik Olin Wright that attempts to shave feminism into the ideals of Marxism when the solution is really a synthesis of the two ideologies in a tradition that ranks Marxism before feminism.


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