Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Marxism/Socialism and
Feminism/Gender
SUE V. ROSSERMarxist theory and its successor and practical implementation as socialism emphasized economics, placing the class struggle as the central focus determining human oppression, behaviors, and power struggles. Marxists/socialists viewed the dominance of men over women and gender oppression as results of class inequality. They believed that equality of income distribution and absence of class differentials would also result in the disappearance of gender inequity.Because of its emphasis upon collectivism, Marxism rejects individualism and positivism as approaches to knowledge. Since positivism and individualism form cornerstones of the scientific method, Marxists believe that knowledge, including scientific knowledge, cannot be solely individualistic. Instead, as a productive activity of human beings, whose basic categories are shaped by human purposes and values, knowledge cannot be objective and value free. Marxists purport that the prevailing mode of production determines the problems studied, approaches, and funding for scientific research. In the 21st century, United States capitalism determines scientific knowledge and science reflects the interests of the dominant class who hold power under capitalism.
Marxist/Socialist Feminist Critiques of Science
Although feminists have criticized Marxism for decades (Goldman 1931) about its shortcomings on the woman question, the Marxist critique of science opened the door to three insights shared by feminist theories and methodologies:
1. It proposed that scientific knowledge was socially constructed and could not be dichotomized from other human values a scientist holds. Beginning with the work of Thomas Kuhn (1970) and his followers, historians and philosophers of science have pointed out that the scientific paradigms acceptable to the mainstream of practicing scientists

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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