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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Feminism as development planning theory Mattix, Ramona


This thesis argues that feminism, the political force advocating equity and parity for women vis-a-vis men, provides a much needed critique to developmental planning theory as well as informing planning practice in general. Feminism, in the political arenas of liberalism, socialism, and radical theory, offers alternative views of power relations. These alternative views are submitted as important keys to transformational planning, that is, planning that becomes a force for structural social change. The concept of discourse is offered in this thesis as a form of social analysis as important to social change as Marxist analysis is to economic change. The voice of women, it is submitted, has been outside public discourse, and this omission has contributed to their social condition. Within the thesis is an overview of the womens' movement. It also contains an analysis of alternate paths to democracy held by liberal, socialist and radical positions, and discusses the importance of feminist criticism held by women supporting each ideological position. The liberatory possiblities of mainstream development planning theory "hearing" the voice of women is explored, along with the contention that new institutions which allow for social transformation can best be met by valueing womens' experience, and by initiating change at the household level.

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