Essay Example on The concept of living in a postmodern world









I am going to discuss the concept of living in a postmodern world by focusing on gender as a social category I will do this by focusing on feminist viewpoints including structural post structural and post feminist perspectives Feminist outlooks offer descriptive frameworks that surround the idea of gender relations to aid political action and changes To begin in order to argue that we live in a postmodern world it is important to define the terms modernism and postmodernism Barth claims that modernism and postmodernism synthesises and combines ideas to create a broader understanding of the terms Cuddon defines Modernism as A very comprehensive term applied to international tendencies and movements in all the creative arts since the latter end of the 19th c Postmodernism can be seen as an intellectual movement where Lyotard suggests grand narratives are rejected in order to make way for smaller more convincing narratives The first issue I am going to address in this essay is the unequal wage gap between women and men in the workplace Despite The Equal Pay Act being in place today employers still underpay women in the same job as men The Equal Pay Act 1970 states that men and women must be paid equally for doing the same role or broadly similar in the workplace This law came about when 7 women who worked for the Ford Motor Company sewing car seats walked out of their jobs They were notified that their job skills category were downgrading from a category C job more skilled production job to a category B less skilled production job and that they were also being paid 15 less that men who were also in a the same job 

The theory I am going to connect to this is the structural perspective Structural theories around gender focus mainly upon the idea that women's oppression are a consequence of racism capitalism and patriarchy Structural theories also branch off to Radical Marxist Socialist and Liberal feminism To begin Marxist feminism mainly focuses on the idea that women are oppressed through the capitalist economic system and are restricted due to the gendered division of labour in the workplace The two types of labour in the capitalist economic system are reproductive and productive Benston would imply that the reproductive labour involves women performing domestic roles within the household including childcare cooking and cleaning for no monetary gain Productive labour includes women receiving a wage by providing a service that will be of increased profit in the capitalist economic system This links in with the issue I am presenting as Marxists feminist explain how women are unfairly exploited in the workplace and home when it comes to the amount they are paid and are often seen as a reserve army of cheap labour Marx explains this term by suggesting that labourers were controlled and restricted in the workplace under a hierarchy of capitalism with the wealthy business owners on the top

Although to argue against Marxist feminist ideologies it can be suggested that their focus is solely on the nuclear family and overlooks family diversity In conflict with the Marxist feminist theories Liberal feminists believe that there is a March of Progress to which equality is becoming more significant for women in society This can be shown through legislation acts such as the Abortion Act which enables women to take control of their own bodies through Also as this act was introduced in 1967 it can be argued that radical feminism is outdated Liberal feminists also want to highlight that women going to work has not only improved gender inequality as a whole but it has also helped women become more self sufficient even being the lead paid earners in 25 of families So despite the fact that the gender pay gap is not entirely equal yet women can still overcome this barrier and be the main source of income in the household Over the years evidence has shown that men are doing an increased proportion of domestic labour but Official National Statistics show that women are doing 40 more unpaid chores at home

This is where the conflicting views come from the Radical feminists Radical feminists look at the way men oppress women in relationships through patriarchal acts to define their dominance in domestic violence and sexual gratification Radical feminist Greer made a controversial statement that women are naturally conditioned to accept a sense of inferiority to men and argued for sexual liberation outside the monogamous family Greer also made it clear that matrifocal or women only households were appropriate to remove any possible chance of male dominance It can be argued that radical feminists focus too much on men s mannerisms rather than looking at the political and economical side of society like liberal feminists do The Institute for Women's Policy Research IWPR suggests that The wage gap between working men and women will not close until the year 2057 Radical feminist would see this as a way of men dominating and oppressing women in the workplace whereas a liberal feminist would see it as a slow progression to achieve equality for women Although for Hispanic women it will take until 2233 to achieve equal pay and for black women it will take until 2124 Not only are these individuals discriminated against by their gender but also against their ethnicity showing that all women will experience inequality differently Which leads me onto to the next section of a poststructuralist view

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