The account which follows is an oversimplified one, and is also con­tested. The material in the following seven chapters will subvert the simple schema which follows. Maynard (1995) proposed, several years ago, that the ‘three schools’ model which follows was not an accurate characterisation of feminist sociology in the 1990s. Paula England (1999: 263) argues that the tripartite division is ‘outdated’ because of postmodernism and the claims of women of colour. However, there are good reasons for starting from the model of liberal, Marxist and radi­cal perspectives. It has been important for 30 years, it does remind us that a unitary label ‘feminist’ is absurdly imprecise, and it does reflect some real differences in sociological approach. Also, despite many arti­cles arguing that the ‘three schools’ model is outdated and unhelpful, it is still widely used.