Emile Durkheim’s functionalist perspective posits that institutions, such as universities help shape collective beliefs and that it makes society to interact and become more cohesive. The university is not only a place of learning or an infrastructure that houses students but also a place where people can socialize and through it, helps society to be more cohesive. Meaning, the university is not just a place where we study, but also a place where we make friends. This process of making friends, helps our society more cohesive as we bond with our school mates who comes from different perspectives and background. In a way, the university serves as a social cement to make our society more cohesive.
Today, we may find our university not only as bastion of learning but also a beacon of justice and equality where discrimination particularly gender is highly frowned upon. In the university, both genders are treated equally where women are empowered in the same manner as it would to men. This may be common but this actually came from the construct of Michel Focault postmodernist feminist theory. For Focault’s feminist theory the relationship of power, body and sexuality and gender are just cultural constructs rather than natural phenomena. Focault furthered that the idea that women are supposed to be weaker or inferior than men is actually a byproduct of norm created by a patriarchal society. In short, Focault asserted that in essence there is really no difference between a man and a woman. If ever there is, it is just a cultural construct, or one that is made up by people to subjugate women. Today, we can find Focault’s influence in the university as it embraced Focault’s feminist theory that it became a staunch defender of equal rights between man and a woman.
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