A Sociological Look at the Feminist Movement & the Civil Rights Movement

1671 Words Mar 8th, 2013 7 Pages
The Feminist Movement & The Civil Rights Movement
Lauren Greene
SYG2000 Tuesday/Thursday 5:00 pm
December 9, 2012

Social Movements Impact Western Culture For centuries, large groups of individuals have come together to oppose prevailing ideas, challenge conformity and promote great change in beliefs, government policy and overall social reform. Whether it is an instinctual component of human existence or a way of survival as learned from previous generations, social reform is an integral part of Western culture’s growth and development into modern society. When discussing this topic, two very great movements come to mind. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Feminist Movement of the 1960s and
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(Freeman) Symbolically, women were expected to get married, raise children, cook, clean and maintain an orderly household. Again, the symbols associated with women were believed to be positive by those superior because they maintained the stability of their beliefs. Eventually, many women began to challenge the symbols associated with them including their traditional roles and they began re-thinking the meaning of womanhood which eventually led to the Feminist Movement which similar to the Civil Rights Movement, resulted in reform. New symbols associated with women began to emerge and offered a new subjective view reflecting equality and potential for greatness. Some of these symbols include more gender neutral clothing, the right to sexual expressiveness, diminished emphasis on the double standard and the right to hold jobs of equal pay (Evans). Although some sense of the belief of women as inferior to men still holds true today and can be seen in such concepts as ‘the glass ceiling’ effect, the Feminist Movement played an essential role in reforming the symbols and subjective meanings that are representative of women. When examining these two movements from the Functional Analysis perspective, one will see how many different facets to our society come together to comprise the overall structure, similar to how many different puzzle pieces come together to

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