Feminism

By Martinez, Michelle | Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

Feminism


Martinez, Michelle, Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources


Jason L. Powell, ed., FEMINISM. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc., 2013. (Social Perspectives in the 21st Century.) 73p. bibl. index. pap., $52.00, ISBN 978-622575404.

Jason Powell, editor of Nova's series Social Perspectives in the 21st Century, writes that the goal of the works in the series is to "engage with conceptual development, historical formation, [and] contemporary relevance" (preface). In its attempt to broadly brushstroke feminist theories in five brief chapters, however, the 73-page Feminism volume loses nuance.

Chapter 1, "Introduction on Feminism," is more of an introduction to Powell's thoughts than an introduction to feminism. All of feminist thought throughout history, Powell claims, can be divided into three broad perspectives: one that is "informed by liberalism and individualism" (p. 1), a second that critiques gender bias, and a third that takes a postmodern approach.

Chapter 2, "The Development of Feminist Social Theory," presupposes a basic knowledge of social theory, as it launches into the failures of early social theorists Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. This chapter does, however, make clear that social theory was incomplete and inaccurate in its failure to account for women and to explain why women were unaccounted for by historical and contemporary models.

Chapter 3, "Early Feminism," focuses on Mary Wollstonecraft, but a better chronology would start nearly a decade earlier with Jeremy Bentham. Furthermore, the list of feminist theories in this chapter, each with a minimal definition, is confusing, since these theories are from feminism's Second Wave. …

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