What is Third Wave Feminism, and How Does It Differ From Second Wave Feminism?

Essay by captainkeetaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, November 2014

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What is third wave feminism? In what ways is it similar to or different from second wave feminism?

Four main points-

Explain third wave feminism, core ideas.

Second wave feminism.

Discuss comparisons.

Core notions- in second wave feminism, gender is socially constructed. Preoccupation with equality, what it is, what the ideas were [social, liberal, radical]. Key theorists during second wave feminism argued that the social construction of gender could be challenged in different ways. Not unified, argued for different approaches.

Make it clear that the basic assumption on which this thinking is based is that "women" can be discussed as a unified term.

Question being are women a unity?

Third wave addressed this, saying it wasn't.

Begin with notion of equality and how it was addressed by second wave theorists. Each had a different emphasis and identified key problematic and approaches to achieving equality. Irony being that while they wanted to unify women, they themselves were not unified in different ideas and rejected other groups.

Fundamental issues is that this presumes and assumes that "woman" can be approached as a unified body with a shared and equivalent set of concerns.

This became the basic premise of third wave feminism, which began to engage notions of identity and difference and considered that these had to be acknowledged to account for distinct and individual perspectives. Key ideas and examples can be found in the work of a range of theorists, discuss Alice Rossi, Carol Gilligan, bell hooks,

Don't want to eliminate difference, celebrate things about women that are different, believe that society should not stand in their way, if they wish to be female they should be allowed. Problem is not being the same as men, problem is women not reaching their full potential.

I have selected four key theorists from each...