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PSYC 4100 Assessment 4 History and Influence of the New School of Thought

PSYC 4100 Assessment 4 History and Influence of the New School of Thought

Name

Capella University

FPX-4100

Professor’s name

April 2nd, 2024

History and Influence of the New School of Thought

Feminist psychology surfaced during the 1960s and 1970s in reaction to the prevalent dominance of male-oriented viewpoints within the discipline (Matsick et al., 2021). It sought to challenge traditional psychological theories and methodologies by centering on the experiences and perspectives of women. Feminist psychology not only critiqued existing theories for their androcentrism but also aimed to address the unique psychological issues faced by women, such as gender discrimination, stereotyping, and the unequal distribution of power in society. By emphasizing the interrelation of gender with additional social facets like race, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation, feminist psychology facilitated the development of a more encompassing and interconnected method to comprehend human behavior and mental well-being. Its influence extends beyond academia, shaping clinical practice, policy-making, and activism aimed at promoting gender equality and social justice.

Founding Figures, Events, and Ideas of the School of Thought

Feminist psychology originated during the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to the prevailing dominance of perspectives centered around males in the discipline. It sought to challenge traditional psychological theories and methodologies by centering on the experiences and perspectives of women. Feminist psychology not only critiqued existing theories for their androcentrism but also aimed to address the unique psychological issues faced by women, such as gender discrimination, stereotyping, and the unequal distribution of power in society (Beck et al., 2021). By illuminating the interconnections between gender and various social identities like race, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation, feminist psychology fostered the development of a broader and more intersectional perspective on comprehending human behavior and mental well-being. Its influence extends beyond academia, shaping clinical practice, policy-making, and activism aimed at promoting gender equality and social justice.

Founding Figures

Feminist psychology was propelled by the works of pioneering figures such as Carol Gilligan, Nancy Chodorow, and Jean Baker Miller (Fotaki, 2022). Carol Gilligan’s groundbreaking book “In a Different Voice” challenged Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, arguing that women often approach ethical dilemmas from a different perspective, emphasizing care and relationships over abstract principles. Nancy Chodorow’s work on the development of gender identity and Jean Baker Miller’s contributions to relational-cultural theory also laid the foundation for feminist critiques of traditional psychological concepts.

Events

The socio-political context of the 1960s and 1970s, characterized by the feminist movement, set the stage for the emergence of feminist psychology. The movements advocating for women’s liberation challenged established gender norms and called for acknowledgment of women’s experiences across different fields, including psychology (Elsby, 2020). The release of significant publications like Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” and the introduction of women’s studies programs in universities added to the increasing traction of feminist viewpoints within psychology.

Ideas

Feminist psychology introduced several key ideas that reshaped the field. These include the critique of androcentric biases in research, the recognition of gender as a social construct, and the emphasis on the interconnectedness of personal and political experiences. Feminist psychologists also developed methodologies such as qualitative research and participatory action research to better capture the complexity of women’s lives (Abrams et al., 2020). Intersectionality, a concept pioneered by Kimberlé Crenshaw, became central to feminist psychology, highlighting the intersecting systems of oppression that shape individuals’ experiences based on their intersecting identities.

Historical and Societal Influences

Feminist psychology emerged as a response to historical and societal influences that marginalized women’s experiences within the field of psychology (Morison, 2021). Throughout history, women were often excluded from academic and professional spheres, resulting in a scarcity of studies regarding their psychological experiences and requirements. During the 1960s and 1970s, the feminist movement contested conventional gender roles and demanded recognition of women’s voices in various domains, including psychology. Significant occurrences like the release of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” and the founding of women’s studies programs. in universities provided a platform for feminist critiques of prevailing psychological theories that perpetuated gender stereotypes and biases.

Historically, psychology was largely dominated by male perspectives, with theories and methodologies reflecting and perpetuating patriarchal norms. For example, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory pathologized femininity and portrayed women as inherently inferior to men (Zhang, 2020). Additionally, the lack of female representation in psychology’s founding figures and research subjects contributed to the neglect of women’s experiences in psychological research and practice. These historical influences created a fertile ground for the emergence of feminist psychology, which sought to challenge androcentric biases and center on the experiences of women.

One example of a historical influence on feminist psychology is the women’s liberation movement, advocating for the rights of women and questioning conventional gender norms (Thompson, 2021). This movement brought attention to the social and political factors influencing women’s lives and highlighted the need for a psychology that addressed women’s unique experiences and challenges. Another example is the civil rights movement, which inspired feminist psychologists to adopt an intersectional approach, acknowledging the interrelation between gender and other forms of oppression like race, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.These historical influences shaped the development of feminist psychology and its focus on social justice and equality.

The historical and societal factors that contributed to the emergence of feminist psychology are deeply intertwined with the broader struggles for gender equality and social justice (Smith & Sinkford, 2022). By analyzing and critiquing prevailing theories and methodologies through a feminist lens, feminist psychology challenged the status quo and paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse approach to understanding human behavior and mental health. Its impact extends beyond academia, shaping clinical practice, policy-making, and activism aimed at promoting gender equity and social change.

How This School of Thought Guides Social Thinking

Feminist psychology significantly guides social thinking by offering a lens through which to examine power dynamics, gender roles, and societal structures. This school of thought challenges traditional notions of gender and advocates for the recognition of diverse experiences and identities. For example, feminist psychology critiques the traditional gender binary and highlights the fluidity of gender identity, encouraging a more inclusive understanding of human diversity (Hoskin, 2020). Additionally, feminist psychologists examine how social norms and institutions perpetuate gender inequalities, such as unequal pay, domestic violence, and limited reproductive rights. By analyzing these social issues through a feminist perspective, individuals are encouraged to question and challenge prevailing norms, ultimately contributing to social change.

Theory and knowledge from scholarly literature in the study of history and systems inform professional behavior by providing a framework for understanding the historical and cultural contexts that shape human behavior and mental health. In the case of feminist psychology, an understanding of the historical marginalization of women within psychology and society informs professionals’ approaches to mental health care. For instance, healthcare professionals might acknowledge the effects of gender-based violence on the mental well-being of women and implement trauma-informed care approaches in their practice (Mahamid et al., 2022). Moreover, knowledge of feminist theory informs professionals’ advocacy efforts for policies and programs that address gender inequalities and promote gender equity in mental health services.

Feminist psychology guides social thinking by challenging dominant narratives and promoting critical reflection on power dynamics and social injustices. For example, feminist psychologists critique traditional diagnostic frameworks for mental disorders, which may pathologize women’s experiences and ignore the role of social factors in mental health (Mtaita et al., 2021). Instead, feminist psychology emphasizes the importance of considering socio-cultural contexts in understanding psychological distress and advocates for holistic approaches to mental health care that address individuals’ social and environmental circumstances. By incorporating feminist perspectives into social thinking, individuals are encouraged to adopt more inclusive and empathetic attitudes toward diverse experiences and identities.

Furthermore, feminist psychology informs professionals’ understanding of intersectionality, which recognizes the interconnectedness of multiple social identities such as race, class, sexuality, and disability. This viewpoint emphasizes the distinct encounters of marginalized communities and stresses the significance of tackling overlapping forms of discrimination in mental health care. For instance, healthcare providers may consider how the experiences of LGBTQ individuals or Black communities are shaped by both gender and racial inequalities, and tailor their interventions accordingly (Rodella et al., 2020). By integrating intersectional perspectives into social thinking, professionals can better address the complex needs of diverse populations and work towards promoting social justice and equity in mental health services.

Feminist psychology is vital in guiding social thinking by challenging traditional notions of gender, advocating for social justice, and promoting inclusive approaches to mental health care (Autiero et al., 2020). By analyzing power dynamics, addressing social inequalities, and recognizing the intersectionality of human experiences, feminist psychology offers valuable insights for professionals in understanding and addressing the diverse needs of individuals and communities.

PSYC 4100 Assessment 4: Conclusion

In conclusion, feminist psychology acts as a crucial framework for comprehending and confronting the intricacies surrounding gender, power dynamics, and social inequalities within the field of psychology. By challenging traditional perspectives and advocating for social justice, feminist psychology promotes inclusive approaches to mental health care and encourages professionals to consider the intersecting identities and experiences of individuals and communities. Its influence extends beyond academia, shaping clinical practice, policy-making, and activism aimed at promoting gender equity and social change.

PSYC 4100 Assessment 4: References

Abrams, J. A., Tabaac, A., Jung, S., & Else-Quest, N. M. (2020). Considerations for employing intersectionality in qualitative health research. Social Science & Medicine, 258, 113138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113138

Autiero, M., Procentese, F., Carnevale, S., Arcidiacono, C., & Napoli, I. (2020). Oltre La Violenza) project, naples health service. Piazza Nazionale, 95, 80143. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155543

Beck, M., Cadwell, J., Kern, A., Wu, K., Dickerson, M., & Howard, M. (2021). Critical feminist analysis of STEM mentoring programs: A meta‐synthesis of the existing literature. Gender, Work & Organization, 29(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12729

Elsby, C. (2020). Amy Schumer as philosopher: Fuck the feminine mystique. Springer EBooks, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97134-6_24-1

Fotaki, M. (2022). Feminist ethics. Handbooks in Philosophy, 863–882. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76606-1_15

Hoskin, R. A. (2020). “Femininity? It’s the aesthetic of subordination”: Examining femmephobia, the gender binary, and experiences of oppression among sexual and gender minorities. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(7), 2319–2339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01641-x

Mahamid, F., Veronese, G., & Bdier, D. (2022). Gender-based violence experiences among Palestinian women during the COVID-19 pandemic: mental health professionals’ perceptions and concerns. Conflict and Health, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-022-00444-2

Matsick, J. L., Kruk, M., Oswald, F., & Palmer, L. (2021). Bridging feminist psychology and open science: Feminist tools and shared values inform best practices for science reform. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 45(4), 412–429. https://doi.org/10.1177/03616843211026564

Morison, T. (2021). Reproductive justice: A radical framework for researching sexual and reproductive issues in psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 15(6). https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12605

Mtaita, C., Likindikoki, S., McGowan, M., Mpembeni, R., Safary, E., & Jahn, A. (2021). Knowledge, experience, and perception of gender-based violence health services: A mixed methods study on adolescent girls and young women in Tanzania. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(16), 8575. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168575

Rodella, M. D., Wangmo, T., Dagron, S., & Elger, B. S. (2020). Understanding access to professional healthcare among asylum seekers facing gender-based violence. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12914-020-00244-w

Smith, S. G., & Sinkford, J. C. (2022). Gender equality in the 21st century: Overcoming barriers to women’s leadership in global health. Journal of Dental Education, 86(9), 1144–1173. https://doi.org/10.1002/jdd.13059

Thompson, L. (2021). Toward a feminist psychological theory of “institutional trauma.” Feminism & Psychology, 31(1), 99–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353520968374

Zhang, S. (2020). Psychoanalysis: The influence of Freud’s theory in personality psychology. Proceedings of the International Conference on Mental Health and Humanities Education (ICMHHE 2020), 433(1), 229–232. https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.200425.051

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