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Collective Identity and Gendered Activism in the Czech Environmental Movement: The South Bohemian Mothers' Struggle against Nuclear Power

Critical Aspects of Gender in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, and Social Movements

ISBN: 978-0-85724-913-5, eISBN: 978-0-85724-914-2

ISSN: 0163-786X

Publication date: 7 November 2011

Abstract

Existing research indicates that collective identity is critical in sustaining social movements, especially in the face of significant opposition. We extend this literature by analyzing the ways collective identity evolves and develops over time to combat external barriers and obstacles. Drawing from a unique dataset on activists in the post-communist Czech environmental movement, we analyze how women rallied around their gendered identity to protest against nuclear power. Our analysis focuses on the case of the South Bohemian Mothers (Jihočeské matky), an organization that rallied specifically around the protection of children and healthy communities. The activists faced extensive obstacles including: post-communist patriarchal institutions and sexism; the South Bohemian Daddies, a male-dominated pro-nuclear countermovement; and pervasive anti-environmentalist sentiments. Our results highlight the complex and evolutionary nature of collective identity and the role it can play in sustaining activism in the face of external challenges.

Citation

Adams, A.E. and Shriver, T.E. (2011), "Collective Identity and Gendered Activism in the Czech Environmental Movement: The South Bohemian Mothers' Struggle against Nuclear Power", Christine Snyder, A. and Phetsamay Stobbe, S. (Ed.) Critical Aspects of Gender in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding, and Social Movements (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X(2011)0000032011

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited