The trouble with gender: Tales of the still-missing feminist revolution in sociological theory

Sociological Theory 13 (3):209-228 (1995)
Abstract
Why do sociological theorists remain uninterested in and resistant to feminist theory? Notwithstanding indications of increasing openness to feminist theory, journals and texts on sociological theory reflect a continuing pattern of neglect. I identify reasons for this pattern, including tensions resulting from the introduction of gender as a central analytical category: Not only does gender challenge the dichotomous categories that define sociology's boundaries and identity, it also displaces the discipline's central problematic of modernity. The significance of this displacement is apparent when the discipline's responses to feminist and postmodernist theory are compared. I discuss the relevance of feminist theoretical work to contemporary issues in sociological theory, with specific attention to the synthetic nature of feminist theorizing, to work on rethinking power, resistance, and oppression, and to efforts to effect a conceptual shift from "either/or" to "both/and" thinking and to establish new grounds for assessing knowledge claims
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