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Critical Theory, Feminism & Social Work

I have to do a short study on analyzing the ontological, axiological, espitemological and methodological tenets or assumptions of critical theory and feminist epistemology. Also I have to evaluate how critical theory and feminist espitemology are consistent with the values of the Social Work professional discipline.

I have some ideas relative to the subject but need additional perspective to enhance my report.

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Feminism as a Critical Theory

Feminism offers a broad perspective. It has political, social, economic and epistemological conventions that overlap and there are varied avenues of concern and studies. We can point to the most basic proposition of feminism though as it envelopes all these avenues - it is a collective effort to push for, defend and establish the interests and rights of women, most especially the discourse on equality and social rights. Now, feminism as a discourse houses a lot of movements expressed as feminist theories. There is radical political feminism that takes issue against patriarchy for as a feminist theory it assumes that the current social system and social order is due to make supremacy and as such, in this particular design, women are oppressed. Its aim is to overthrow patriarchal oppression by opposing standardised gender roles and calling for change. Radical feminism is the 'bulwark' of the feminist discourse and influences it most in terms of the varied elements within the debate (Echols, 1989). There is conservative feminism, the direct opposite of radical feminism in a sense that it believes that a radical reordering of gender roles and social order will destroy family units as careerism and political interest will push women towards this agenda thereby letting go of their roles as mothers, wives and nurturers. The purpose of of conservative feminism is to take the discourse of feminism into what they see as the important aspects of being female and being a woman. They push for equality, they push for social rights but they do not want to take a proactive role in destroying what they see as a working system for they feel that things can be changed without doing that. They don't want to be judgemental of either sexes and genders, they want to push for equality without the need to push for radicalized reforms that have no assurance of working. Another feminist theory is liberal feminism and this perspective looks at gender role inequality as socialization-based. As such, the social dysfunction of gender inequality is in itself a social construct and can be mitigated via social means which means legal and political reform (Echols,1989).Lastly, we have socialist feminism. This particular feminist theory holds that the oppression of women and gender inequality comes as a product of the social structure/stratification. As such the success of men in the workplace and their advancement in society is due to sexism, a way of rewarding them. Due patriarchy and the accepted knowledge among the male members of society that men can do better work than women, they are allowed control in the workplace - control over ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides an extensive narrative written to help the student tackled the topic of critical theory and the feminist epistemology as laid out in the original problem (see above). The ontological, axiological, espitemological and methodological tenets of critical theory and feminism is explored. Critical theory is explained, especially how this relates to feminism and its purposes and the values of Social Work as a professional discipline.