Harriet Martineau & Gender Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #8

Harriet Martineau & Gender Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #8

Where my ladies at? Seriously, we’ve spent a lot of time learning about
the origins of sociology, and all of the founders we’ve
talked about so far have been men. That’s because, when sociology was
becoming an academic discipline, women didn’t
have the same access to education. In fact, it was considered improper in the
19th century for women to write articles and
give talks to the public. And this continued for decades, with some
of the top universities not allowing female
students until the 1970s. Which sucks. But it also raises an important question:
Why do women and men get treated differently? This is a question that sociologists can answer! Or, well, we can at least try to answer it. Gender-conflict theory applies the principles
of conflict theory to the relations among genders. Specifically, it looks at how social structures
perpetuate gendered inequalities. Now, the functionalist approach has historically
held that gender inequalities are a natural result of each
gender taking on the tasks they’re best suited for. But many modern sociologists don’t share
this view. Economic and political power structures that
reinforce traditional gender roles often cause
more dysfunction than function. Restricting access to education by gender
is a great example of this dysfunction: Denying women access to quality education makes our
society worse by squashing the half the world’s potential! Sociology’s understanding of society wouldn’t be complete without the women and feminists who started the conversation about gender as an academic field of study. First stop: sociology’s forgotten founder,
Harriet Martineau. [Theme Music] Harriet Martineau was the first female sociologist,
born in 1802 in England. Unlike Marx or Durkheim or Weber, who are hailed as the forefathers of sociology and get entire chapters devoted to their theories, Martineau typically gets, at most, a couple of sentences in a textbook. Martineau started out kind of like the Crash
Course of her time – bringing research to
the masses in easily digestible bites. She wrote a best-selling series called Illustrations
on the Political Economy, which used fables and a literary style of writing to bring the
economic principles of Adam Smith to the
general public. She was a favorite of many of the leading
intellectuals of the time. Even Queen Victoria, who loved Martineau’s
writing so much that she invited Martineau
to her coronation. But this was just the start. Martineau decamped for the United States and
spent two years travelling the country, observing
social practices. She went from North to South, from small towns to Washington DC, sitting in on sessions of Congress, a Supreme Court session, and a meeting with President Madison. She then captured her observations in two
books, Society in America and How to Observe
Morals and Manners. The first was a set of three volumes that
identified principles that Americans professed to
hold dear, like democracy, justice, and freedom. Then she documented the social patterns that she
observed in America, and contrasted the values that
Americans thought they held, with the values that were actually enshrined in
their economic and political systems. Martineau’s observations included some of the
first academic observations of American gender roles, and she dedicated much of the third volume
to the study of marriage, female occupations,
and the health of women. Despite the title of her second book – How
to Observe Morals and Manners – it was not
a guide to etiquette. It was a treatise on research methodology,
describing how to do cross-cultural studies
of morals and moral behavior. Martineau talked about interviewing, sampling,
bias in observation, the problem of generalizing
from individuals to a whole society – many of the hallmarks of modern research. She wrote about class, religion, suicide,
nationalism, domestic life, gender, crime, health – and this was all before Marx, before
Durkheim, before Weber. And her English translations of Comte’s
work on positivist sociology were so good
that Comte himself told her: “I feel sure that your name will be linked with mine.” But of course, Comte was wrong. Soon after her death, Martineau’s work was
forgotten. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when feminist scholars
began to revisit her work, that the full extent of her
influence on sociology began to be realized. That’s right, feminist scholars. Now, I know for many people feminism is a
loaded term. And I want to make sure we’re clear about
the historical and sociological context for
feminism as I’m using it here. Here, we’re defining feminism as the support
for social equality among genders. This is in opposition to patriarchy, a form of social
organization in which institutional structures, like access to political power, property rights,
and occupations, are dominated by men. So feminism isn’t just associated with activism;
it’s also a scholarly term. Feminist theory is one school of thought in
the study of gender. And over time, feminism has gone through many
different forms, often categorized as waves. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble to look at
what’s known as feminism’s first wave. In the 19th and early 20th century, the first wave
of feminism focused on women’s suffrage – or,
the right to vote – and other legal inequalities. That’s because, in the 19th century, all
property and money that a woman had legally
belonged to her husband. Imagine that. Not being able to earn a salary that was your
own, not being able to own land, not being
able to write a will. And on top of that, you can’t vote, which
makes it a little hard to change these things. It was these issues that prompted the start
of the Women’s Rights Movement, which began with a meeting of 300 like-minded women – and
a few men – in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Early feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the meeting to put forth a manifesto on women’s rights, which became known as the Declaration of Sentiments. This convention was the spark that set off the
women’s suffrage movement in the United States. It took many years of activism – court cases,
speeches, protests, and hunger strikes – until
women finally won the right to vote in 1920. Thanks, Thought Bubble. The first wave of feminism didn’t only affect
legal issues. It was also where many of the ideas about
societal roles of gender first got their start. Take Charlotte Perkins Gilman, for example. You might recognize her as the author of the
short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” But she was also a sociologist and social
activist. Early in the 20th century, she published papers
and books on society’s assumptions about gender, focusing on marriage, childbearing, and the
assumed roles of women as housekeepers and
men as breadwinners. She wrote: “There is no female mind.
The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver.” Notice how she worded that – the brain is
not an organ of sex. Sex refers to biological distinctions between
females, males, and intersex individuals. But gender refers to the personality traits
and social roles that society attaches to
different sexes. Think about it this way: Do men and women act
the same way across all cultures and time periods? If gender arose only from biological differences between men and women, we would expect to see all cultures defining femininity and masculinity in the same ways. But we don’t. From the work of anthropologist Margaret Mead in the 1930s, to the research done today by economists Uri Gneezy and John List, scientists have found that gender roles change among societies, and over time. And this idea – the idea that gender has
societal origins – has formed the backbone
of the second wave of feminism. Books like The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan argued against the idea that women were a
lesser sex, who should be resigned to taking
care of children and the home. The second wave of feminism focused on female
participation in the labor force, equal pay, reproductive rights, sexual violence, educational
equality, and divorce. This was the era of Title IX, the legalization
of contraception and abortion, no fault divorce
laws, and the Equal Pay Act. But it was also an era of divisiveness within
the feminist movement, with many feeling that women in positions of power focused on issues
most relevant to white, upper middle class women. These divisions led to what’s known as the
third wave of feminism, starting in the 1990s, which has focused on broadening the definition
of feminism to encompass issues of race, class,
sexuality, and other forms of disadvantage. The ideas evoked by the third wave are nicely
represented by author and feminist bell hooks: In her book “Ain’t I a Woman,” hooks
writes: “The process begins with the individual
woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist,
classist and sexist, in varying degrees ….” That’s a heavy statement. Most people don’t think of themselves as
racist or sexist. But one of the underlying ideas behind third
wave feminism is the acknowledgement of the structures of power that create inequality
across gender, race, class, and other dimensions
of disadvantage. There’s a term that’s used a lot in modern
day feminism, which maybe you’ve heard used
recently: intersectionality. So what is intersectionality? You add a little race-conflict theory in with
gender-conflict theory, and a smidge of Marx’s theories about class conflict – and you
get intersectionality, the analysis of how race, class, and gender interact to create
systems of disadvantage that are interdependent. The term intersectionality was coined by race
and gender theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. She wrote that the experience of being a black
woman couldn’t be understood just by understanding the experience of a black person, or the experience
of a woman independently. Instead, you have to look at how these identities
intersect. How you – yes, you, in particular, you – see
society and see yourself is gonna be wrapped
up in the identities you have. I, as a cisgender white woman, will have a
different experience in the world as a result
of my own interlocking identities. And when it comes to our understanding of
gender in this societal mix, we have to thank Harriet Martineau, whose work was one starting
point from which the waves of feminism unfolded. Today we learned about Harriet Martineau
and gender-conflict theory. We also explored the three waves of feminism,
as well as intersectionality. Next time, we’ll look at another important
figure in sociology Max Weber. Crash Course Sociology is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl
C. Kinney Crash Course Studio in Missoula, MT,
and it’s made with the help of all these nice people. Our animation team is Thought Cafe, and
Crash Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud, If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for
everyone, forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Speaking of Patreon, we’d like to thank all
of our patrons in general, and we’d like to specifically thank our Headmaster of Learning
David Cichowski. Thank you for your support.

100 thoughts on “Harriet Martineau & Gender Conflict Theory: Crash Course Sociology #8

  1. Now, I understand that the target audience of PBS studios is something something of the American public. It makes me wonder how much of this I should exclude from my own frame of mind being a European. Every time a report is cited or a comment is made about the viewers within the context of American life is invalidating my interest to the topics you bring forth. While that, I believe, is unsubstantial because a lot of theories should apply to a more broad public… Right?

  2. I really liked that video, but it was solely concentrating on cisgender experiences on the binary, which makes it fail to grasp the concept of gender. Otherwise great, keep up the work.

  3. I really dont like to talk about feminism but this was actually informative. Feminist and Anti feminist people can learn from this… I'm not sure but she is probably a feminist and that is why so many dislikes.

  4. in the word of karen straughan: in a world where what words we use are so important we name the force for good after women and the ultimate evil in the world after men""
    think about it

  5. im glad ive been watching this series, its taught me a lot about how our society works without giving into biasis. keep up the good work

  6. Found another flaw. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote in the early twentieth century. Gender didn't have social specific connotation until the middle twentieth century. So her use of the word "sex" doesn't automatically make it distinct from gender.

  7. I don't see any statement that discriminates any gender here… but an essential fact was left out of history how the first world war that led to middle-class women having to (or getting a chance to) work which ultimately led to "high-class women" suffrage which then paved way for universal suffrage… also, the entire course is highly European centric (in its thoughts) and leaves out the "rest of the world"

  8. Making the clam there is no difference between a male and female liver and conflating that to the most complex origin the brain is ridiculous. A running with the assumption that gender roles are only social constructs and there are no differences between men and women is absurd. P.s livers can not be transferred from human to human blood type matters. I would guess there is some form of spectrum where brains lay on and the sex of the person matters for example particular types of problem solving skills men score on average higher this is why for chess there are men's women's divisions top 10 world chess players are all men. This is not to say women are stupid however they are stronger are other areas. Such as verbal inelegance.

  9. To those who dislikes
    Yu do not see the whole picture
    U know she is explaining sociology and as being a teacher to us she needs to be neutral!! So why the fudge! Pls have a wider view of the topic!!


  11. I'm non-binary and support this video for more positive reasons than negative. People need to chill out and realise that this video is concerned with the gender pay gap which is an issue. Sure they made some mistakes but is talking about the inequality between males and females really offensive? I wish they'd raised inequality for non-cis people but oh well.

  12. This video should have come with a trigger warning: feminism for all the guys who want so badly to hate on feminism. Honestly, how can you hate on this video? She is literally giving straight historical facts. Find something better to do with your time.

    Crash Course, thanks for this video. Ignore the hate and keep the content coming. 🙂

  13. Maybe decide to call it something other than feminism since gender equality should not be so fundamentally focused on women's perspectives rather than both women's and men's. Having that fundamental focus causes the whole movement to focus on half the perspectives. But not many people would say that there is a strict advantage to being male anymore (if ever), so what justification is there for the name for equality refer to only one side of the equation?

  14. Every time, EVERY TIME, you try to explain the nature of men and women without mentioning the biology, you will fail and fail badly.

  15. I don't like the idea of "waves" of feminism. I prefer to look at it as a singular idea that evolved and expanded over time. I have a feeling that people are biased towards categorization and labeling everything, and I don't like that. Of course, I'm not forcing the idea onto anybody else. Just sharing a bit of my own outlook on the world and society.

  16. I'm a proud feminist, but it sucks what third wave feminists are doing in the west. Let's hope they'll stop corrupting feminism.

  17. a lot of angry men in the comments, for what reason? i dont know. This vid was pretty informative if you ask me. I think they heard the words "gender" "women" and "feminism" and started frothing at the mouth

  18. people confused about the down votes… I do want to give her credit for sort of pointing out third wave feminisms cause for the negative connotation feminism has now. 2nd wave>3rd wave…

  19. The problem isn't the pristine definition that one can create for sociology. You can do that with any ideology or discipline, but how people actually practice said abstractions are different from the abstract definition. So fine, sociology is not the problem per se the problem is a lot of intellectually thin sociologist that give sociology a bad rep wither you consider them a virtuous sociologist or not.

  20. It's staggering to me that in 2017 there are still so many men that feel threatened by women advocating equality. And, this is literally just a video about feminist and women's history and contribution to sociology. I think we know who the real "snowflakes" are.

  21. My grand-grandmother came to America to go to college in 1917 (she was born and lived in Cuba) and her mother has also went to college. Maybe Catalan (my historic ancestry) culture is more free-thinking but I also think we had a lot of revisionist history or focus on only America/British history on the matter.

  22. 3rd wave Feminism and sociology have a lot in common, they are both illogical, unremarkable, unhelpful and create a lot of confusion.

  23. Guys. Whoever disagrees with anything in this video doesn't realize that this is about as unbiased and objective as sociology can get. All of what's discussed in these videos are sociological theories, events in history, and simple vocabulary with some talking afterward to illustrate the new vocabulary. Look closely enough and you'll notice that there is no political agenda here, it only serves as proof that society is so polarized right now that people have difficulty even accepting truth as truth in this discipline as well as many other domains of modern society. If sex and gender are the same thing and both biologically determined, then why would the two different but similar concepts have different names? You're more than allowed think critically over how you feel about something, but if you just jump to conclusions and immediately reject something as falsehood or wrong, it's obvious you're missing the point of anything. I like to say that people aren't entitled to their own opinions, they are entitled to their own EDUCATED & RESEARCHED opinions.

  24. I think that people hit the dislike button because they feel like the video is STILL not scientifically objective enough and feels too biased. Well its not so strange since you either belong to the women camp or the man camp and that there is still a huge difference in society between the sexes. I believe this stems mostly from being raised mostly separately throughout childhood and life.

  25. I have absolutely no feelings towards a male or female teacher or boss.
    But my wallet loves the fact that girls tend to buy me drinks in the club more often.

  26. "gender" doesn't exist it's a sexology theory from 1955 that was never proven. Biological sex is the real thing and between the 2 sexes numerous genetic differences between males and females have been found including many linked to the structure of the brain and nervous system

  27. Intersectionality is just an affirmation to me that the west had it right all along. The individual is the smallest minority.

  28. I’m a white, male, heterosexual Irish-Slavic-American. My ancestors knew suffering, and I’m proud to descend from them!

  29. 3rd wave feminism is bad. Not only are men and women physically different but the dictionary definition is used to defend feminism. When you make feminism different then the dictionary you can not use the dictionary to say only feminists stand for equality. Just because one culture has different gender ROLES, as in gender is sex and gender roles are what you call gender, doesn't mean the average society views women as strong. Even matriarchy societies of people, which are rarer then patriarchies, use men for hunting and such and not women even thought they might be working hard too.

  30. Please speak a little more slowly. I love your videos, and I learn a lot. But I feel I could learn so much more if I didn't spend so much time just trying to keep up with your words. The speak of your words is interfering with my ability to get taken in your ideas. The text slides help a lot but no one wants an instructor to just read to us. Thank you.

  31. How can you make no mention of the draft? you mention the privileges of men but not their burdens. You mentioned the burdens of women but not their privileges.

    I am really disappointed with this and my trust in the general course has dramatically lowered.

  32. For the curious——– The precise reason why this video seems controversial given the like-dislike ratio is because she doesn't spend 9 minutes explicitly stating how the feminists are worthless c**ts who are out to destroy western civilization.
    Ur wecome

  33. I should point out here that third wave intersectional feminist theory is fundamentally incompatible with Marxist theory. Good video though, can't see why a video describing a theory has such a high dislike to like ratio

  34. You can’t really say it is wrong that “gender” and “sex” are synonyms. To define the word “gender” to be synonyms to sex is a definition that has been around far longer then the definition of the word that you are referring to. This older definition comes from ancient Latin and refers to sex. “Gender” entered the English language around the 1500s or so with no other meaning than that of sex. It wasn’t until around 1945, and then predominantly in feminist literature, that “gender” was used to refer to any form of social construct. And even today, the feminist definition of the word “gender” is almost exclusively used by hard core activists and by certain parts of academia. The classical definition of the word is, it seems, still the dominant one. This is so because, as you yourself have probably noticed, most people understand “gender” to be synonymous with sex. Otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to make the gender-sex destination. In other words, the classical definitions of “gender” and its feminist definition seem to be homonymous. If you don’t believe me, it’s easy for you to check the etymology of the word “gender”. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

  35. Gender and sex is very much connected. What roles sex takes in the society depends on it ability. Example Many people associate cooking with female but why most of the cook are male "why?" because men can work more without getting tired, men can work at night, men don't take maternity leave etc. Distinction without discrimination between the two sex is important for a healthy society.

  36. Even your course started hailing Durkheim, Marx, and Weber as the fore-fathers of the "sociological paradigms" you described in the second video… mhhhh food for thought? :p

  37. I am a little puzzled about the problem of celebrating Marx and ignoring Martineau. While now it is clear to me what was revolutionary in Marx, I didn't really get what was great about Martineau except vulgarization of other works.

  38. This is a great vid but you speak so quickly and never pause between sentences! I had to put the video on 75% speed to absorb the material. Slow down, woman!

  39. Why the dislikes? This was simply an unbiased video explaining feminism and the people who contributed to its theory. The presenter never expressed her opinion on it.

  40. Not bad… Seriously those bickering need to step back and realize that this is a general descriptive overview of the topic… Just like the other vids on this channel, shocking… Of course a more in depth look at each wave and their nuances would be great…but How long do you want this to be, seriously…

  41. Im confused, why the outage over a relatively unbiased attempt at describing the 3waves/phases of a particular social movement…
    It's like going to a car dealership and asking what cars they have on the lot, and as they give you a very basic surface level description of the model's/options; you start foaming at the mouth, arguing the ideological superiority of riding a bicycle….. One car is red, with heated mirrors that's it, just a description, how you feel about global warming while telling them their dumb is nonsensical…

  42. Can you please stop talking so fast makes it hard to understand what you're saying they costly have to play back

  43. I feel a bit disappointed in this video, sure it talked about gender but I was expecting it to explain patriarchy in history, and why it mainly occurred in civilisations and not barbarians

  44. This video (1) unnecessarily perpetuates American nationalist myths and exceptionalism – only what happens in the US matters (2) enters into little detail on Gender Conflict Theory. (3) provides an unbalanced historical coverage — it ignores all other countries and implies that feminism was pioneered in the United States. (4) mentions only Harriet Martineau because she visited the United States.

  45. Surely ones life experience is different to each and every indivdual and not based on race, sexuality, gender/sex, (insert oppression olympics buzz word here).

  46. Do people really get offended by just saying the fact that women were oppressed? Geez, talk about "snowflakes".

  47. How do you define "identity"? Specifically, I'm interested in two possible dimensions to be considered in the definition:

    a) Is "identity" one individual thing including many aspects (e.g. "my identity is a CIS-gendered white female etc.")? Or is "identity" one thing included in some larger whole (e.g. "my identities are CIS-gendered, white, and female etc.")?

    b) Does (or should) "identity" include biological categories (e.g. sex and skin color) as well as social categories (e.g. gender)?

    Concerning (a):

    If "identity" is the latter, can people not claim a potentially infinite number of identities, and that can be individually appealed to when any perceived inequalities between the large number of identities are discovered (and even if most of an individual’s identities might by some standards be privileged, it only takes one to identify as a "victim")? Or are there some boundaries to what can be an identity (to appeal to)?

    If "identity" is the former, this problem doesn't seem to follow (at least not as easily), as the one identity is a unique mixture of many things; some aspects socially perceived as positive, some negative, some neutral, and many of them moving, thus forming a dynamic aggregate.

    Concerning (b):

    If our identities include many things that are socially (if not individually) constructed, doesn't that especially imply that the first concern about (a) might follow? At least if some boundaries to what genders, for example, can be constructed, are not defined.

    And insofar as we identify with biological categories, that cannot change, how productive is that if the goal is to diminish the social problems based on biological categories?

    And furthermore: insofar as we have any group-affiliation categories in our identity (be those biological or social affiliations), are we not upholding said group-affiliations and thus possible group-conflict between them?

  48. Structures of power creating inequality only exist in your head as does the term gender when used to refer to your self representation as male or female. Your thinking is un Godly and insane.

  49. this one is a bit all over the place – you should stratify between literal feminism and radical linguistic feminism, in order to clarify these various strands

  50. No mention of her defense of laissez faire economics and her attack on Dickens for daring to support government regulation of factory safety? She was a great abolitionist but also an enemy of the working class.

  51. I'm writing a paper on feminism, just everything about it. It would be helpful if someone who is a feminist could reply to this and give me their perspective on anything. It can be one sentence, it can be five paragraphs. Anything could help. And CrashCourse, may I use some information from this video in my paper?

  52. Men and Women are different. This is a fact of biology. For most of human history we were hunter gatherers. Our evolutionary history has had a huge impact on behavior differences between men and women – no amount of social engineering is going to change our limbic systems or neurological sex differences.

  53. treated differently, try being a man who is a RN, with interactions with female RNs…maybe better today, but you should have be me decades ago being the only male nurse…

  54. This is pretty much like my sociology class in uni. It's all nice and good until conflict and critical theories come up. Then arguments turn into statements and theories won't have counter theories or proper criticism that is considered "valid" by critical theorists themselves, who usually label and name call their critics.

  55. Australia was like most countries. Too many mouths, not enough to go around. And when we faced extinction, I offered a solution."


    "At random. Dispassionate, fair. The rich and poor alike. And they called me a madman. And what I predicted, came to pass."

  56. Education was not denied to upper class women. More women graduate from university than men. You discuss history using a modern lens, ie modernism.

    Your definition of feminism is not that presently practiced.

  57. So Gender Conflict Theory is about the Socialisation of roles? I don’t quite understand, if wasn’t made as explicitly clear as with the previous 2 conflict theory videos.

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