ERIC Number: ED354452
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Danger: Viewing White, Privileged Women as Normative.
Yoder, Janice D.; Kahn, Arnold S.
Feminist critiques of psychology have pointed to the strong tendency throughout the history of the discipline for researchers to assume one of two standards for human behavior: non-human primates, and men, more specifically, white, privileged men who often are college sophomores. Feminist scientists in other fields, as well as feminist psychologists, have criticized this male standard and offered suggestions for a women-centered psychology of women as an alternate social construction. Much of the research in the psychology of women has focused on comparisons of men as a group to women as a group. This dichotomy has produced a literature of apparent gender differences, often using men as the control group, and frequently suggesting that women are deficient relative to that control. In addition to the value judgments that arise from these comparisons, an assumption that underlies them is that women and men each are unified, homogeneous groups. Such an assumption ignores any diversity that exists within each group often by narrowly defining women as white, middle class, heterosexual, physically able and young. Ultimately this approach simply may replace the old, white, privileged male norm with a similarly limited white, privileged female norm. In a society that marginalizes the nonprivileged, what is meant by "achievement" must be redefined and a variety of achievements must be valued if a diverse group of models is to be provided. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (100th, Washington, DC, August 14-18, 1992).