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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2010

Alison Dahl Crossley

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…

Abstract

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.

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Interactions and Intersections of Gendered Bodies at Work, at Home, and at Play
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-944-2

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Book part
Publication date: 2 August 2021

Edith Mukudi Omwami

Issues of women’s education and empowerment of women have been incorporated in the framing of the role of women in international development from the 1970s, primarily as a…

Abstract

Issues of women’s education and empowerment of women have been incorporated in the framing of the role of women in international development from the 1970s, primarily as a response to the liberal feminist movement agenda of the time. This analysis examines the degree to which liberal feminism and liberal feminist theory is reflected in comparative education scholarship in the lead up to and beyond the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The analysis first explores the underpinnings of liberal feminism, which constitutes the ideal embedded in development education for girls and women. It follows up with a reflection on the literature in the field of comparative education that reference liberal feminism framework and feminist theory in exploring educational issues and ways in which the theory is located in the research. Illustration of examples that demonstrate the limits of liberal feminism as a theoretical framework and barriers to the use of liberal feminist theory as an ideological guide are captured in the findings. The search is limited to the six dominant scholarly outlets in the field of comparative education; namely Comparative Education Review (CER), Comparative Education (CE), Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (Compare), Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education (Prospects), International Review of Education (IRE), and the International Journal of Educational Development (IJED). Only works that explicitly mention liberal feminism/liberal feminist perspectives are included in the analysis. This research contributes to the acknowledgement of the liberal feminist theory in development education and for the field of comparative education. It will also help with understanding the politics of ideology and representation in scholarship and development interventions.

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Book part
Publication date: 7 September 2017

Joanna Williams

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Women vs Feminism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-475-0

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2021

Solange Simões

This chapter seeks to situate theoretically and comparatively the definitions and praxis of feminism by women activists of the Brazilian participatory state feminism in…

Abstract

This chapter seeks to situate theoretically and comparatively the definitions and praxis of feminism by women activists of the Brazilian participatory state feminism in comparison to the current and emerging definitions in the theories and praxis of transnational feminisms. It analyzes the answers to attitudinal as well as behavior questions to a survey conducted in 2016 among delegates to National Conference for Policies for Women, representing over 150,000 women activists from all over the country and from a wide range of organizations and movements (women’s and feminist organizations, trade unions, political parties, black movements, environmental groups, LQBT organizations, etc.). The main research question addressed in this chapter is whether current Brazilian feminisms – constructed by several generations of women – have had a trajectory, convergent with those of the feminisms of the global north and the global south, moving from the “rights feminism” of the 1970s to the current intersectional and emancipatory feminism, which goes beyond the affirmation of women’s rights and gender equality, and moves on to use the broader concept of social justice to propose equality for the whole of society, not just for women.

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Producing Inclusive Feminist Knowledge: Positionalities and Discourses in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-171-6

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2007

Sonita Sarker

The significance of feminisms appears and disappears from where you stand. In the 20th century, feminisms of different contexts have been the very basis of struggles for…

Abstract

The significance of feminisms appears and disappears from where you stand. In the 20th century, feminisms of different contexts have been the very basis of struggles for equity and justice at the same as time as they have faced charges of illegitimacy or irrelevance. As in the last century, the current era can be read not as the histories of feminisms only but as chronicles of feminisms intertwined unevenly with other movements for social, political, and economic justice. In this sense, feminisms have disappeared or metamorphosed.1 Both verbs signify either that many feminisms are not recognizable as some had known or interpreted them to exist, or that they have altered beyond familiar shapes to forms that have displaced or substituted them. These transformations have led to debates on purist and reconstituted versions; these disputes have, in fact, maintained the vitality of feminisms.2

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Sustainable Feminisms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1439-3

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Book part
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Maxine Eichner

This paper poses the question of whether the mainstream feminist movement in the United States, in concentrating its efforts on achieving gender parity in the existing…

Abstract

This paper poses the question of whether the mainstream feminist movement in the United States, in concentrating its efforts on achieving gender parity in the existing workplace, is selling women short. In it, I argue that contemporary U.S. feminism has not adequately theorized the problems with the relatively unregulated market system in the United States. That failure has contributed to a situation in which women’s participation in the labor market is mistakenly equated with liberation, and in which other far-ranging effects of the market system on women’s lives inside and outside of work – many of them negative – are overlooked. To theorize the effects of the market system on women’s lives in a more nuanced manner, I borrow from the insights of earlier Marxist and socialist feminists. I then use this more nuanced perspective to outline an agenda for feminism, which I call “market-cautious feminism,” that seeks to regulate the market to serve women’s interests.

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Special Issue: Feminist Legal Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-782-0

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2018

M. Katharina Wiedlack

This chapter analyses the presence of Russian feminists and female LGBTIQ+ activists within US-American mainstream media. In the course of a multimedia discourse analysis…

Abstract

This chapter analyses the presence of Russian feminists and female LGBTIQ+ activists within US-American mainstream media. In the course of a multimedia discourse analysis, it briefly raises questions of who becomes featured and how, to argue that current debates marginalise Russian queer female, trans*gender and intersex voices, compared to those of male queers. One exception to this trend is the case of the journalist and activist Masha Gessen. Together with Nadya Tolokonnikova of the protest group Pussy Riot, Gessen seems to represent Russian queers and feminists within US media. Although marginal, compared to the presence of US feminisms, especially popular culture figures such as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter or Lady Gaga, the two women become frequently featured within US news media and beyond. Frequently, those articles, interviews and discussions of their work open up a debate, or rather comparisons, between US values and Russian values, questions of modernity, progress and civilisation. Equally often, the female Russian dissidents are pictured as ‘Putin’s victims’ – the female versions of David fighting against Goliath – by focussing especially on their physical vulnerability and their female bodies. In this vein, feminism is constructed as inherently ‘Western’, while the bodies that carry out such feminisms and most of all their country of origin is entirely ‘othered’. Comparing the (self-)representations to other voices of female Russian dissent within US media, the author critically discuss the Western gaze of US mainstream media, its victimising strategies and homonationalistic construction of US identity and US nation in rejection of a ‘backward’ homophobic Russia.

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Subcultures, Bodies and Spaces: Essays on Alternativity and Marginalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-512-8

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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2016

Ann Shola Orloff and Talia Shiff

In recent decades, it is possible to point to a new and evolving debate among analysts of sexuality, political economy, and culture, focused on the implications of feminism

Abstract

In recent decades, it is possible to point to a new and evolving debate among analysts of sexuality, political economy, and culture, focused on the implications of feminism’s changing relations to institutions of state power and law in the United States. According to these analysts, to whom we refer as the critics of feminism in power, the alliances formed between some feminists and neoliberal and conservative elites, coupled with the installation of feminist ideas in law and state institutions problematize the once commonly held assumption, shared by second-wave feminists, that all women, regardless of differences in social location, face certain kinds of exclusions. With women entering formal positions of power from states to NGOs to corporations, this assumption cannot stand. Critical analysts of feminists in power insist that we consider the implications of advancing a feminist politics not from the margins of society but from within the precincts of power. They shine a light on a change in feminism’s relation to institutions of state power and law as reflected in new political alliances forming between feminists and neoliberal and conservative elites, and the political and discursive uses to which feminist ideas and ideals have been put. Building on work on inequalities and hierarchies among women, these critics take up specifically political questions concerning the kind of feminist politics to be promoted in today’s changed gendered landscape. Perhaps most notably, they make explicit a concern shared by radical political movements more generally: what does it mean when the ideas of those who were once considered political outsiders become institutionalized within core sites of state power and law? At the same time, the very broad-brush narratives concerning the cooptation of feminism by neoliberalism put forth by some of these analysts could be complemented with historical and empirical research on specific instances of feminism’s reciprocal, though still unequal, relationship with neoliberalism and state power.

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Perverse Politics? Feminism, Anti-Imperialism, Multiplicity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-074-9

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Rina Arya

This paper aims to be a critical reflection on the author's position as a Black female academic in the academy, and comes from a motivation to raise Black consciousness…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to be a critical reflection on the author's position as a Black female academic in the academy, and comes from a motivation to raise Black consciousness about the importance of Black feminist scholarship.

Design/methodology/approach

The author identifies the unique position of Black feminism, which has had to define itself apart from second‐wave feminism of the 1970s, which marginalised non‐White women and the Civil Rights movement, which marginalised women. The oppression faced by Black feminists is apparent in the shifting platforms of identity that Black feminists occupy in the academy. Another obstacle is the restricted and incomplete picture of feminism in the academy, which sidelines Black feminist writing. One of the ways to raise awareness is to focus on the corpus of Black writing and to re‐position it within academic core curricula, rather than relegating it to specialised courses.

Findings

It is found that Black feminism is marginalised in the academy in scholarship and representation. It is also found that students are more receptive to ideas about feminism when approaching the subject indirectly.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of the study is an absence of theoretical literature from a UK context.

Social implications

The paper highlights the marginalisation of Black feminism in the academy.

Originality/value

The subjects of “feminism in academia” and the representation of “Black and minority ethnics in the Academy” have been explored in scholarship. However the combination of these terms, namely the role of the Black feminist in the academy, is a comparatively unexplored subject. Hence, the originality of this paper.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1997

Matthew Shepherd

Through reference to contemporary feminist literature, this article explores the potential of men's involvement in feminism. Although primarily a women's movement, it is…

Abstract

Through reference to contemporary feminist literature, this article explores the potential of men's involvement in feminism. Although primarily a women's movement, it is argued that there is scope for men to make a significant contribution to both feminist theory and practice. It stresses that men must live feminism in their everyday lives. In the second half of the paper it is suggested that men should engage in the project of re‐thinking existing notions of masculinity. In this connection it briefly outlines a reconceptualisation which is shown to be of benefit to feminist scholarship. As conclusion, an agenda for future research of masculinity is proposed.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 17 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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