Family is an excellent potential arena to challenge gender norms and change power structures in society because of its pivotal role in socializing generations on gender and other axes of power and oppression. This commentary examines interdisciplinary feminist perspectives on family relationships and discusses the ways in which feminist scholarship challenges traditional approaches to family studies. Specifically, feminist researchers have challenged scholarship on families to: (a) redefine family by un-othering non-conforming families, (b) bring gender consciousness to family research, (c) model intersectionality across structural levels, and (d) apply research to radically alter family life to promote fairness and equity. Several barriers that have frustrated forward motion on some of these ideological battlegrounds are also discussed, including many structural aspects of currently favored epistemological approaches and scholarly traditions. Feminist researchers must continue to challenge the traditional approaches and conclusions of family scholarship, but we must also challenge some more subtle, structurally entrenched ideologies about the process of scholarship itself. This two pronged attack is critical to pull feminist family research from the fringes to center stage, where we can continue to demonstrate what a collective gain feminist approaches bring to our understanding of gender and the family.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 2, 2016
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