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Legal Theory - Essay Example

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In the popular conscience the modern era, in the global media, global culture, and in much historiography, is often portrayed and understood within the context of Western cultural hegemony. The roots and causes of this are many and varied. The political, economic, and social…
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Legal Theory
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Legal Theory

These ideas and ideologies have assumed a global and even pan-human application. When applied they claim a universalism. When dissected, however, they show themselves to have a decidedly Western origin and influence. This has been shown to be the case in the global spread of various ideas and power systems like democracy, capitalism, industrialisation, colonialism, internationalism, and even socialism.
The global reach of many of these ideologies and social structures inevitably incited reaction and dissent. Capitalism spawned socialism. Industrialisation gave way to workers movements. Colonialism yielded to Third World political rumblings and international ideologies like global Marxism, Pan-Africanism, and Pan-Arabism (to mention a few). To all this must be added twentieth century feminism. Though it may seem an oversimplification, much of twentieth century feminism sought to voice a discourse largely critical of the sexual inequality inherent in capitalism, be it in its national and/or its international forms. From the viewpoint of Marxism, the State is ‘a reflection, if not the instrument, of the power of the dominant economic class’ (Newman 2004, 141). From a gender perspective, the State largely mirrors the interests of males vis-a-vis females on an individualised basis. The modern State of capitalist society lies at the centre of what feminism sees as the tyrannical, patriarchal system of domination over the bodies and lives of women. This same State figures prominently in the structure of globalisation which has served to propagate Western power systems across the globe. Whether one approaches the role and place of women from an international, global perspective or from an individual State perspective, the question for feminists is for the most part a matter of the imposition of power and the limitation and circumscription of female individual autonomy. With respect to prostitution, particularly its criminalisation, the State ... Read More
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