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Feminist Theory

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Stacey Hoffe

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Feminist Theory

1. Assumptions About People & the Environment Key Theoretical Concepts Definition of Feminist Theory: "Women-centered approach that strives to understand particular experiences of
oppression in relationships and the
broader society"
(Hick, p.61). 2. How the Theory Explains Human Behavior and Person in Environment Interaction Application to practice Deconstructing women's stories

Learning to externalize the problem

Empowering women

Do not focus only on symptoms By Jennika Anstey, Jessica Taylor & Stacey Hoffe Feminist Theory “The underlying assumption of this approach is that since social categories (like gender) shape the way we understand and interact with others, particular approaches need to be developed to address the unique needs of women.” (Hicks, p.61) -Patriarchy -Power imbalance -Unequal rights There is a hierarchy of sexes which has placed women in a subordinate position, struggling to attain equal rights. Oppression over the years has created inequality and specific roles for women. -Domestic Duties
-Child Rearing
-Do not possess "hands on" skills
-Do not have technical skills
-Nurturance
-Double Shift
-Emotionally Expressive Gender Roles Can you think of some stereotypical gender roles (of men and women) evident in society? Women Men - More obsessed with sex
-Overwhelmed by women's expressions of emotion
-Less involved with child rearing
-Express more anger
-Breadwinner
-Head of household These points illustrate how feminist theory is a strengths based perspective.... Underlying Assumptions of Strengths Perspective 1. Everyone has internal strength and abilities
2. People have a capacity for growth and change
3. Life traumas can serve as a source of growth
4. People are experts on their own lives
5. Problems do not reside within the person Comparing and Contrasting
Theories to Feminist Theory Compare Contrast Structural Theory Modernist Theory - Both focus on the structural implications
of personal problems

-Both incorporate class, race, age, gender,
ability and sexuality

-Both do not blame individual for
personal problems -Focuses on individual "deficits"

-It is not strengths based, it is
disempowering

-Does not acknowledge the
influence of structural forces Critical Thinking Questioning Assumptions Seeking Objectivity Do men and women actually have unequal rights?

Does a power imbalance always exist?

Are men and women biologically and psychologically equal? Exploring Alternatives Looking at different perspectives and acknowledging other theories (i.e. modernist theory). Considering Social and Cultural Contexts Women's roles differ between cultures (i.e. Aboriginal women versus White women). This proves that gender roles are socially constructed. Subjecting the assumptions to scientific scrutiny. For instance, testing to determine whether or not women are inferior to men biologically and/or psychologically. Distinguishing Between Facts and Values Causality and Generalizing References American Psychological Association. (2006). Think Again: Men and Women Share Cognitive Skills.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/research/action/share.aspx.

Baines, D. (2011). Doing Anti-oppressive Practice: Social Justice Social Work (2nd ed.). Halifax
& Winnipeg, Canada: Fernwood Publishing.

Bertolino, B. (2010). Strengths-based Engagement and Practice. Boston: Pearson.

Carniol, B. (2010). Case Critical: Social Services and Social Justice in Canada (6th ed.).
Toronto,Canada: Between the Lines.

Cummins, L. (2012). Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice (3rd ed.). United States of
America: Pearson.

Fook, J. (2012). Social Work: A Critical Approach to Practice (2nd ed.). London, England: SAGE
Publishing.

Hick, Steven (2010). Social Work in Canada: An Introduction, Third Edition, Toronto:Thompson
Educational Publishers.

Marsiglia, F., & Kulis, S. (2009). Diversity, Oppression, and Change. Chicago, Illnois: Lyceum Books
Inc.

Walsh, J. (2010). Theories for Direct Social Work Practice (2nd ed.). United States of America:
Marcus Boggs. "Critical thinking can be defined as thinking that is purposeful, reasonable, goal-directed and evaluative of its outcomes" (Walsh, p.9). "A practitioner must have confidence in his or her theories because hard facts are difficult to come by in social work practice" (Walsh, p.9). "Cautiousness when inferring causality or making generalizations" (Walsh, p.10).
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