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Feminist Generations: The Persistence of the Radical Women's Movement (Women in the Political Economy)


Feminist Generations: The Persistence of the Radical Women's Movement (Women in the Political Economy) Cover

ISBN13: 9781566392822
ISBN10: 1566392829
Condition: Standard
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-299) and index.

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Eric Romsted, August 26, 2006 (view all comments by Eric Romsted)
Whittier tracks, in some detail, the development of the radical women's movement in Colombus, Ohio, centered at Ohio State University, from its beginnings in the late 1960's through the '90s. She seeks to explore how and why the feminist movement changed so radically in both ideology and culture over the years.

Her central conclusion is novel and well supported by her evidence. She argues that the women's movement changed, not because the women grew up and abandoned their radicalism, or because feminism had won all its battles, but because each new group of women that entered the movement found a new political environment and therefore developed an new feminist worldview.

Whittier shows how this process actually occured every few years, with each new group (she refers to them as micro-cohorts) developing a slightly different feminist perspective, while the older activists retained their original views.

On this narrow level her thesis succeads beautifully. However, her concept of movement generations is presented as having more general worth as a sociological theory of social movements. Here she only half succeeds. Her insight that movements alter their own social contexts, and therefore new recruits develop new perspectives should be generalizable. However, the other half of the coin, that activists retain their original worldviews even through changing circumstances, is tainted by the location of her study. College campuses have a naturally high turnover rate and she argues that internal movement dynamics increased this turnover. Seperation from the movement is a simpler explination for static ideologies.

Overall, a solid work in solcial movement sociology.
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Product Details

Whittier, Nancy
Temple University Press
Philadelphia :
Government and political science
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Radicalism -- United States.
Feminism -- United States.
Women's Studies
Feminist Studies-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Women in the Political Economy (Paperback)
Series Volume:
no. 11
Publication Date:
8.26x5.54x.80 in. .81 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

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