Acker, Sandra. “No-Woman’s Land: British Sociology of Education 1960-1979.” Sociological Review 29.1 (1981): 77-104. Print.
Throughout Sandra Acker’s article, “No-Woman’s Land: British Sociology of Education 1960-1979” a unique connection between feminism, sociology, and education is addressed. Acker tackles issues within the British sociology of education from a feminist perspective. The distinctive view of feminists, and even more specifically feminists between the nineteen sixties and late seventies, is able to highlight areas of education and the sociology behind it that are otherwise overlooked. Because of the strong ethnic and moral issues that become prominent while concentrating on feministic beliefs, the feministic criticism of sociology expands the possibilities of Acker’s debate. The feminist views both question previous criticism and also providing new input, which aids in the development of the ultimate direction Acker is able to take criticism of sociology to.
Sociology is the study of society and human interactions and narrowing this study to the views from a feminist perspective challenges both assumptions and stereotypes about women that have become “normal”. Acker addresses many overlooked dilemmas while questioning British sociology, which help specify her research to a two-decade era. After much elaboration upon more specific issues within sociology from the feminists point Acker touches on the idea behind why such a prominent perspective has made little progress on the criticism of the education of sociology. Throughout the entirety of this article, the issue of the rightfulness of accepted practices and prejudices as well as the recognition, justification, and organization of sociology become prominent.
Although Acker addresses many issues within this article, there were a few points that seemed to shape my own thoughts on this situation. One idea that was emphasized to me is the comparison of women to background, scenery, and their surroundings. Here Acker wrote that women of this time are often taken for granted and just there to almost aid in the development of a dominant male character. At this point Acker writes about both written literature and screened footage, which directly relates to the video of which the premise of this paper came. Similarly to my own beliefs on the movie released in 1968, Acker demonstrates that society prior to and within these two decades portrayed the world through a mans perspective. In this societal regularity where men have stronger, more developed characters the skewed view of masculinity enhancing ones being becomes apparent. As masculinity becomes more overbearing it seems that feminine qualities lead to neglect and distortion with the foundation of wrongful stereotypes.
Many issues, which Acker claims prominent between the sixties and late seventies, directly relate to the overbearing disputes addressed in the film Night of the Living Dead. Although I had never noticed before, after reading Acker’s article, the idea of the world viewed solely from the perspective of a man is almost overwhelming within this film. That alone leads to many other skewed beliefs, which I recognize will benefit and shape my own writing.
Brickell, Chris. “The Sociological Construction of Gender and Sexuality.” The Sociological Review 54.1 (2006): 87-113. Print.
“The Sociological Construction of Gender and Sexuality” helps to understand social constructionism from the sociological approach. Through addressing the sociological concern of gender and sexuality four major approaches arise: historicism, symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology, and materialist feminism. Author, Chris Brickell, identifies the overlapping ideas amongst these four focuses, which ultimately helps to analyze gender and sexuality and their interaction with sociology.
This article is useful for inquiry two because it addresses feminist issues present in the writing and filming of this motion picture. The three major views introduced within this text are materialist feminism, Marxism, and radical feminism. These three approaches provide a different standpoint from the other sources I chose to analyze, which therefore broaden my own perspective on the subject. Although the three methodologies widen a viewpoint of feminism from the sociological concern, Brickell concentrated his criticism on the gender constraint primarily associated with jobs and manual labor, recognized and unpaid. Through this he identified two main topics: theoretical prominence, which deals with social structures and ontological, which deals with structured social process predominantly effects rather than causes of inequality.
Brickell’s assessment of feminism helped shape my own understanding and ideas of feminism because of a few specific details he mentioned. In my opinion, the most prominent is how oppression is built into structures of society and social relationships. In identifying social relationships, Brickell recognizes a gender hierarchy and the natural gender inequality through the workforce. He identifies gender specific jobs and the unpaid manual labor expected of a women. This is important to my critique of Night of The Living Dead because in retrospect, there were influential moments of the movie when gender specific roles strongly inspired the direction of the script. In these instances it is apparent that if the roles were assigned to the opposite sex, the movie would have played out quite differently. In conclusion, this article influenced my opinion of the film and strongly developed my argument within the feminist movement in the middle twentieth century.
Edwards, C. D. “Institutional Johnism: Male Dominance in SW 754.” Affilia: Journal Of Women & Social Work 10.3 (1995): 328-34. Print.
Male Dominance within social institutions, and more specifically linked to education, employment, and marriage, is prominent within Edwards’ article about Johnism. Johnism is a theory Edwards developed in recollection of a series of interactions with a fellow student of the opposite gender, John. Through Edwards’ analysis of these interactions she was able to outline sex differences and roles, feminism and male dominance, and social change. Within the maturity of Johnism Edwards addresses that society has thus far failed to change the sexual hierarchy. Instead, she pretenses, that humanity often provides humor as a solution to this problem. Counteracting its goal of helping, this sense of comic relief in present and past culture has instead created a sarcastic, almost mocking method of socialization, which actually decreases any forward movement within feminism.
Through her description of Johnism Edwards introduces three types of feminism, which serve to further back the male dominance within social institutions. The first is liberal feminism, which says that inequality is naturally occurring and necessary for a civilization to grow. It also provides the basis that bi-gender relationships create a sexual hierarchy that can be lessened with mutual respect. The second category, radical feminism, and third, socialist feminism, overlap one another while attempting to all together eliminate dominance in life. Socialists, differing from radicals believe in abolishing dominance in all oppressed groups, not just women. Edwards believes that in doing so one is able to change the future and inspire other generations to act differently.
Even though this push of change for the future lacks recognition in Night of The Living Dead, another issue that Edwards directly addressed is conspicuous. This is the idea of male privilege: people give masculinity power and strength without reason. When given the choice of a male or female speaker, the male’s opinion becomes weighed heavier. Edwards’ recognition of this sexist advantage has further formulated my argument because prior to reading this article, I was unaware not only of male privilege’s role in the film but also the role of misguided humor within the feminist movement.
Marasco, R. “”Already the Effect of the Whip”: Critical Theory and the Feminine Ideal.” Differences: A Journal Of Feminist Cultural Studies 17.1 (2006): 88-115. Print.
Author, Robyn Marasco, recognizes discrimination against women, addresses sexist beliefs, and identifies a neo-sexist belief within her writing on the feminine ideal. Within this piece she is able to recognize overlapping issues and ultimately comes to the conclusion of a few prominent subjects. Throughout history it seems that gender stereotypes dictate gender roles, sex discrimination, rights and equality. Therefore, the most important issue discussed within this Marasco’s argument is gender stereotypes and the limitations that accompany these stereotypes.
Although these issues were not necessarily the basis of her critique, a few of Marasco’s ideas enhanced my understanding of feminism. It caught my attention when Marasco addressed women as lacking self-determination and self-definition: something that is no longer seen as a social issue. Although culture in the present day does not view women as lacking these qualities, it is apparent that it was a cultural issue during the time period of filming Night of the Living Dead. Another valuable statement is the idea that women of the middle twentieth century had little to no dynamic interaction with history. This provides that women had a negative positioning in society. It follows that in that era women were denied honor while men were given a sense of external authority. In other words, the status of women was overlooked, often forcing them to compromise themselves. Marasco later describes women as stationary and confined by sociocultural boundaries. Through these points this article has shaped my knowledge of the culture during the time period of the film. By furthering my understanding of feminist culture within the middle twentieth century, I have been able to look back at the movie script and pick out where these issues become apparent in the portrayal of women.
Martinez, C., C. Paterna, P. Roux, and J.M. Falomir. “Predicting Gender Awareness: The Relevance of Neo-sexism.” Journal of Gender Studies 19.1 (2010): 1-12. Print.
This source runs a statistical analysis of present day gender awareness. The idea behind the statistical test is to see the level, if at all, that others recognize gender discrimination. The theorists predicted that women, more then men, would recognize present day feminism. It was also hypothesized that men would associate themselves with a greater view of neo-sexism then women would. Through their study, the researchers pinpoint the issues of gender awareness to when, historically, feminism was seen as a greater concern. Through this analysis it is apparent that sexist beliefs seem to disappear into cultural norms. This subtle retraction into society temporarily appears to lessen sexist views, even though the problem is never truly addressed or dealt with. Many cultural norms, instead, aid in the creation of stereotypical gender roles and inequality. Another interesting subject highlighted within this analysis is the idea that issues dealing with gender are a social practice and therefore are constantly and simultaneously modifying themselves.
“Predicting Gender Awareness: The Relevance of Neo-sexism” has helped my research because it is completely different from the other sources I have used. While the other sources have a focus specific to past feminism, this analysis deals with present day issues of feminism. Recognizing that feminist discrimination is still present today, although different from previous gender inequalities, will help me to compare and contrast the gender issues identified in the film from that time period to present day. Through investigating this statistical test I am better able to create a well-developed basis for my arguments of feminism present throughout the motion picture.
Wills, Jeremiah B., and Barbara J. Risman. “The Visibility of Feminist Thought in Family Studies.” Journal of Marriage and Family 68.3 (2006): 690-700. Print.
Feminism is not only a societal issue but is also present in family relationships and marriage as well. “The Visibility of Feminist Thought in Family Studies” identifies this issue. Through feminist psychology, feminist criticism, and the study of family journals and magazines dating back to the middle twentieth century, the authors are able to directly address feminism in the home. It becomes apparent that feminism is the direct cause of many other issues amongst familial relations. Cultural and stereotypical gender roles lead to oppression of women in the home which influences feminism as general issues within relationships.
This study has helped shape my idea of family relationships during the late nineteen sixties. As a result my view of the relationships created within Night of the Living Dead has been better established. Before analyzing this source I was unaware of the obvious feminist apparent between man and women, husband and wife, and parent and child. It is now recognizable that within the film many issues associated with stereotypes and assumed roles of women to fulfill others needs are evident. The narrow research analysis of this source will benefit my writing because while the other sources have touched on male and female encounters they have failed to fully elaborate on relationships. Human interactions have an influential role on motion pictures. Therefore, this elaboration of relationships dealing with feminism in the twentieth century will enhance my background knowledge ultimately aiding in a better composition.