Angles of Vision: How to Understand Social Problems

By Leonard Beeghley | Go to book overview

in fact, if not in ideology, because they have the potential to be independent. Yet many women reject the label "feminist." For example, I have had female students say, "I am not a feminist, but I believe in equal pay" (or "equal rights" or "the right to an abortion"). They are ambivalent. Maybe, in an inarticulate way, they feel as if they are being offered a variant of "Sophie's choice." In the novel of that title by William Styron, the Nazis force Sophie to choose which of her children will die ( 1979). By analogy, women may sense that feminism forces a choice between two parts of one's self. dependence or independence, heart or mind, the inner world of family or the outer world of work. Maybe it creates a conflict between basic emotional needs learned as children and the demand for fair treatment in society. Perhaps many women fear they cannot have both and that feminism means picking the latter. Again, this analysis is speculative, but it provides a way of explaining the strange phenomenon of middle-class women's demanding equality while supporting political candidates who oppose the means to achieve it.

Although such dissonance probably exists for many working-class women as well, their material situation differs. Their jobs are often less interesting and less well paid, and they usually have less education. Working-class women, in short, have fewer resources than their middleclass counterparts. This difference means that it is more difficult for them to win economic independence. It means further that for them divorce sometimes leads to poverty, so holding on to a man who is a good provider becomes more essential. Thus, when their economic circumstances are bolstered by religious teachings that specify time-honored (and different) tasks for each gender, these women support traditional gender relations. In effect, working-class women may believe that egalitarianism promises fewer benefits than traditional relationships.

Although history is not predetermined, it is useful to recognize its direction. One way to do this is with a mental experiment. Can you imagine going back to a preindustrial existence, forcing women out of the labor force, or denying them civil rights? Can you imagine denying them the benefits of medical technology? My guess is that unless these sorts of structural changes occur, the impact of traditional gender relations will decline over time, and so will discrimination. Equality is a powerful idea.


Notes
1
This chapter is an updated and abridged version of a similar one in my What Does Your Wife Do? Gender and the Transformation of Family Life ( Beeghley, 1996b).
2
On Mitchell, see Ann Lane Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader, which includes The Yellow Wallpaper ( 1980).

-69-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Angles of Vision: How to Understand Social Problems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures x
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Study of Social Problems 1
  • Notes 19
  • Recommended Reading 20
  • 2 - Abortion 21
  • Notes 41
  • Recommended Reading 42
  • 3 - Gender Inequality 43
  • Notes 69
  • Recommended Reading 70
  • 4 - Racial and Ethnic Inequality 71
  • Notes 95
  • Recommended Reading 96
  • 5 - Poverty 97
  • Notes 118
  • Recommended Reading 118
  • 6 - Drugs 119
  • Notes 144
  • Recommended Reading 144
  • 7 - Homicide 145
  • Notes 163
  • Recommended Reading 164
  • 8 - An Aging Population 165
  • Notes 188
  • Recommended Reading 188
  • 9 - Health 189
  • Notes 210
  • Recommended Reading 210
  • 10 - Reflections on the Study of Social Problems 212
  • Recommended Reading 220
  • Recommended Reading 220
  • Glossary 221
  • References 225
  • Index 249
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 258

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.