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Traditional social science models of class groups in the [#permalink]
25 Sep 2010, 09:21
Traditional social science models of class groups in the United States are based on economic status and assume that women's economic status derives from association with men, typically fathers or husbands, and that women therefore have more compelling common interest with men of their own economic class than with women outside it. Some feminist social scientists, by contrast, have argued that the basic division in American society is instead based on gender, and that the total female population, regardless of economic status, constitutes a distinct class. Social historian Mary Ryan, for example, has argued that in early-nineteenth-century America the identical legal status of working-class and middle-class free women outweighed the differences between women of these two classes: married women, regardless of their family's wealth, did essentially the same unpaid domestic work, and none could own property or vote. Recently, though, other feminist analysts have questioned this model, examining ways in which the condition of working-class women differs from that of middle-class women as well as from that of working-class men. Ann Oakley notes, for example, that the gap between women of different economic classes widened in the late nineteenth century: most working-class women, who performed wage labor outside the home, were excluded from the emerging middle-class ideal of femininity centered around domesticity and volunteerism.
Which of the following statements best characterizes the relationship between traditional social science models of class and Ryan's model, as described in the passage?
a)Ryan's model differs from the traditional models by making gender, rather than economic status, the determinant of women's class status.
b)The traditional social science models of class differ from Ryan's in their assumption that women are financially dependent on men.
c)Both Ryan's model of class and the traditional social science models assume that women work, either within the home or for pay.
d)The traditional social science models of class differ from Ryan's in that they focus on a different period of American history than Ryan's model does.
e)Both Ryan's model of class and the traditional models consider multiple factors, including wealth, marital status, and enfranchisement, in determining women's status.