Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to analyze how young women from diverse national backgrounds adopt or resist feminist identities. This research is founded on…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to analyze how young women from diverse national backgrounds adopt or resist feminist identities. This research is founded on three questions. First, what role does feminism play in the lives of young women from varying geographical and cultural locations? Second, how do media represent and shape understandings of feminism and enactments of femininity? Third, what is the interplay between the perceived relevance of feminism and focus on heterosexual partnering?
Methodology/approach – The research is based on semistructured individual interviews with 13 women. The theoretical framework is based on social movements, feminist, and postfeminist literature.
Findings – I found that the women adhered to media-fabricated stereotypes of feminists such as bra burners, and that despite their differing cultural backgrounds, they shared strikingly similar understandings of feminism. When asked questions about the film Bridget Jones's Diary, many of the women were conflicted with a simultaneous desire for independence and a yearning for traditional heterosexual relationships. The tensions surrounding tradition and modernity, coupled with the perception that feminism is the purview of lesbians resulted in many of them resisting feminist identities.
Originality/value of chapter – This chapter highlights the complexities and contradictions exhibited by young women negotiating feminist identities. It demonstrates how difficult it is for feminism to change with respect to broader shifts in social life when it is saddled with such monolithic and static stereotypes. We must strongly consider the future of feminism if young women fail to see its relevance to their lives.
Purpose and approach – This chapter by the editor introduces the authors, concepts, and themes that feature most prominently in the volume and relates the contributions to…
Purpose and approach – This chapter by the editor introduces the authors, concepts, and themes that feature most prominently in the volume and relates the contributions to one another and the current state of gender research.
Research implications – The chapter demonstrates how the principles, processes, and concepts of feminist research are currently being applied in a wide range of macro and micro social settings to advance gender research in directions that have implications for social policy and change.
Value of the chapter – This chapter serves to guide the reader through the volume calling attention to key findings and methodological issues.
Desiré J. M. Anastasia received her PhD in sociology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in September 2008. Before attaining her doctoral degree, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Sciences: Law & Society from Michigan State University in East Lansing in December 1999, and her Master of Liberal Arts in Women's Studies from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti in August 2001. Her areas of specialization include sociology of the body, body modification, gender inequality, domestic violence and sexual assault, social control, deviance, feminist theory, and feminist research methods. She has taught Women's Studies courses at both Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and San Diego State University as well as Sociology courses at both Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and the University of San Diego. In addition to her sociological and phenomenological dissertation on extensively tattooed women, her research has included an analysis of theoretical perspectives on same-sex domestic violence as well as female violence against men, a statistical analysis of survivors of domestic violence in San Diego County, and content analyses of educational television programs on tattoos.