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Encyclopedia of Social Theory

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Encyclopedia of Social Theory

George Ritzer

Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952552 | Print ISBN: 9780761926115 | Online ISBN: 9781412952552 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Liberal Feminism

Mary F. Rogers

Rooted in the humanism of the Renaissance and the person-centered, rights-oriented liberalism that emerged in Western thought during the Enlightenment, liberal feminism first found widespread expression during the nine-teenth century in Western societies. Liberal feminism is that strand of women-centered ideas and practices focusing on achieving equal rights between female and male citizens as well as equal opportunities and outcomes for similarly situated females and males while deemphasizing the cognitive and psychological differences between females and males. This strand of feminist theory is the most widely known. Neither separatist nor radical, liberal feminism is fundamentally and sometimes passionately reformist. Liberal feminists work within the system. To what extent they identify with the institutional order and in what ways they work for social change within it are matters that differentiate one grouping of liberal feminists from another. What puts them together on the same broad part of the political spectrum is ...

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