Stewart, Mary
November 1984
Humanity & Society;Nov84, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p414
Academic Journal
It makes an effort to understand how the field of sociology, which had so strongly nurtured feminism, could remain so unaffected by its perspective. Sociology as a discipline seemed to remain detached from and relatively uninformed by feminism. As the women's movement emerged out of the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement and dramatic changes in social and economic conditions, some sociologists developed a feminist perspective and began to name themselves as feminists. Many topics which were of obvious and immediate relevance to feminists fell primarily into the areas of deviance, family, organizations and stratification. But these areas had either ignored women or had dealt with them in a stereotypical fashion so it was not immediately apparent what these areas had to offer. While feminist sociologists have actively worked to achieve social change, mainstream sociology on the contrary has been reluctant to participate is changing the society it studies or to apply its findings to activities in the world of feminism. Rather than using sociological understanding to improve the social world of women, or to effect structural and personal change, mainstream sociology found itself in an increasingly vulnerable position politically. This is because sociology has been reduced to a series of statistical manipulations by sociologists.


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