difference

Although increasingly employed with reference to ethnic, class, and age divisions within social groups, the term ‘difference’ was initially used by ‘second wave’ feminist writers, who defined the term politically, seeing it as a polarity both between women and men and among women themselves. Kate Millett and Shulamith Firestone viewed women's differences from men as a principal manifestation of women's oppression by men. Others see the term as referring more to the fact that women have a different experience of work, love, and family, indeed a different psychology, from that of men. It is also used in the negative sense of social exclusion and subordination, although radical feminists such as Mary Daly see it as a positive phenomenon, difference as a cause to embrace and celebrate. Black feminists such as Audre Lorde have attacked the misleading universalism of feminism and stressed the deep differences existing between women at all levels, especially with regard to access to scarce resources and power, as a result of ethnic differences and divisions based on class and sexual orientation. In recent years there has been a growing multiplicity of women celebrating differences, but some argue this results in a loss of homogeneity in the women's movement, while others point out that the politically neutral notion of difference to a great extent disguises social inequality -both between women and men, and among women themselves.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • différence — [ diferɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1160; lat. differentia 1 ♦ Caractère (une différence) ou ensemble des caractères (la différence) qui distingue une chose d une autre, un être d un autre; relation d altérité entre ces choses, entre ces êtres. ⇒ dissemblance,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Difference — Différence Différence désigne ce qui distingue deux choses, et de façon extensive ce qui distingue plusieurs choses, éventuellement prises deux à deux. Sommaire 1 Mathématiques 2 Statistiques 3 Sens courant 4 Sources …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Différence — désigne ce qui distingue deux choses, et de façon extensive ce qui distingue plusieurs choses, éventuellement prises deux à deux. Sommaire 1 Mathématiques 2 Statistiques 3 Sens courant 4 Sources …   Wikipédia en Français

  • difference — Difference, Delectus, Discrimen, Differentia, Diuersitas, Distantia, Discerniculum. Difference ou desaccordance, Discrepantia. La plus grande difference qui soit entre l homme et la beste, c est que, etc. Inter hominem et belluam hoc maxime… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • différence — DIFFÉRENCE. s. f. Diversité, dissemblance, distinction. Grande différence. Différence notable, essentielle. Légère différence. Il y a grande différence entre l un et l autre, de l un à l autre, de l un avec l autre. Différence de personnes, de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • difference — Difference. s. f. v. Diversité, dissemblance, distinction. Grande difference. difference notable, essentielle. legere difference. il y a grande difference entre l un & l autre, de l un à l autre, de l un avec l autre. difference de personnes, de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Difference — Dif fer*ence, n. [F. diff[ e]rence, L. differentia.] 1. The act of differing; the state or measure of being different or unlike; distinction; dissimilarity; unlikeness; variation; as, a difference of quality in paper; a difference in degrees of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difference — [dif′ər əns, dif′rəns] n. [ME < OFr < L differentia < differens, prp. of differre: see DIFFER] 1. condition, quality, fact, or instance of being different 2. the way in which people or things are different; esp., a determining point or… …   English World dictionary

  • Difference — may refer to: Difference (album), a 2005 power metal album Difference (computer science), a concept in computer science Difference (heraldry), any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms belonging to members of the same family… …   Wikipedia

  • difference — I noun adverseness, antipathy, antithesis, antitheticalness, asymmetry, atypicality, breach, change, clash of temperament, clashing, conflict of opinion, contradiction, contradistinction, contraposition, contrariety, contrariness, contrast,… …   Law dictionary

  • difference — mid 14c., from O.Fr. difference (12c.) difference, distinction; argument, dispute, from L. differentia diversity, difference, from differentem (nom. differens), prp. of differre to set apart (see DIFFER (Cf. differ)). Sense of a quarrel first… …   Etymology dictionary

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