Dissertation > Political, legal > Workers, peasants,youth, women's movement and organization > Women's movement and organizations > World women's movement and organization > The history of the world women's movement,women's social life history

Analysis on Western Feminism Trend of20th Century

Author HuZuoChao
Tutor ChengLiTao
School Hebei Normal
Course The basic principles of Marxism
Keywords 20thcentury western feminism equality theory thoughts
CLC D441.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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From the equal pay for equal work for man and women in Plato’s"The Republic"to thebirth of "The Declaration of Sentiments"in1848; From the first climax of Western feministmovements to the third climax of Western feminist movements; The development if Westernfeminist theory has gone through a course of a hundred years, And the research of Westernfeminist theory has been further with the continuous explore of historical practice. Since thebeginning of20th century, Western feminist theory has a development trend of flourishing inthe multi-cultural and economic globalization, feminist scholars are not limited to the fightfor women’s rights and the pursuit of improving of women’s status, but pushed the of researchperspective to fundamentally pursuit of a new social order, social relations and social modelto replace the existing confusion sociality filled of discrimination. Feminist theory has beenchange from the simple Feminism to profound theoretical speculation. It is based on thefundamental perspective of gender and critically inherited various cultural ideologies,focusing on the deconstruction of the deep social consciousness, habits of thinking andcultural character code, trying to establish the system of feminist discourse.The first part of this article discussed the social background of western feminist ethos indetail. The secondary status of women is so prevalently existed in all ethnic groups andcultures, and female is in an unequal position with the male in various fields, which led towomen like some slaves who refuse to be enslaved. The social voices of "human rights" and"democracy", promote women continue to struggle in the fields of political and economic,material conditions and relations of production to pursuit for equality. World WarⅠand WorldWarⅡin the20th Century speed up the pace of women pursuing for gender equality. In thetwo World War, the enter to the war and the casualties of the male groups causing women toassume the responsibility of organizing social production and life, this change promoted thecourse of women to strive for economic independence in the capitalist economic system. Thehistorical changes of "Diversification" and "Globalization" promoted the birth of new ethosof Western feminism. In such a complex social background, the development of feministethos is also influenced by the exchange theory, network theory, role theory and etc. Althoughthe theory is characterized by non-fixity and fluidity and is lack of a unified ideologicalcontent, its development has always been around by the social voice of "Equality" and "Freedom". The natural scale to measure of the degree of social liberation is women’sliberation, when the level and the concept of rule prevailing in the entire male community,will inevitably lead to the whole of human society have lost the possibility of equal harmony.The second part mainly talks about the western feminist trend of20thcentury. Thefeminism, in short, means to achieve sexual equality for all mankind. After1960s, thefeminist movement produces feminism, which focuses on gender studies. The feminists takewomen as their research object and think that women are always in a state of subjection. Intheir opinion, women are not only oppressed because of their classes, but also oppressedbecause they are females. What women can do is to change the current situation throughchallenging and changing men’s higher status against the male-dominated system. Forinstance, the western feminists examine women’s survival and development from class, race,nation, country, law and custom. They try to change the cultural and social system which ismale centered. Then they can achieve sexual equality from economy, politics, culture,thoughts and ethics in order to not to be discriminated, in order to change their social sexualrelationship and pursue their entire and dependent life through their unyielding efforts.The third part introduces the evaluation of western feminism. The western feminismturns to be a subject with its own characteristics and value from philosophy, history andpychology. It plays an important role in organizing women’s liberation movement,formulating the policy of sexual equality, establishing women research institution andpromoting the development of modern feminism. However, they are radical with no leader,paying no attention on the future of the country and destiny of the nation and lacking ofsupport from the males, which results in the western feminists’ lacking of unity and continuity.This thesis testifies the perfection and changeable view of western feminism which is aimedat investigating it from a new angle of view.The present study concludes that in order to find out the characteristics, contemporarysignificance and historical limits of western feminism during the100years since1900, weshould sum up the main content of western feminism, search for the common basis of thewestern feminism during the past100years and provide some immature idea and newdirection for western feminism of21stcentury.

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