Feminist research acknowledges the centrality of female knowledge and experience. Within this two further strands can be identified: that many feminist researchers place an emphasis on the social construction of meaning, with particular emphasis on the role of language as the primary vehicle of such constructions; and that within the centrality of female knowledge and experience is a feminist analysis of the role of power in determining the form and representation of social knowledge. The latter is an acknowledgement that feminist research is not just an extension of traditional research in non‐sexist ways and areas of relevance to women but that it must entail a critical evaluation of the research process in terms of its ability to illuminate women's experiences. This should comprise three strands — a critique of traditional theories and methods, the development of more appropriate theories and methods for studying the experience of women and the analysis of the role of the researcher within his/her research.
This paper is a reflective piece on a PhD workshop on “feminist organising” organised in November 2017 by the three authors of this paper. Calls to resist the…
This paper is a reflective piece on a PhD workshop on “feminist organising” organised in November 2017 by the three authors of this paper. Calls to resist the neoliberalisation of academia through academic activism are gaining momentum. The authors’ take on academic activism builds on feminist thought and practice, a tradition that remains overlooked in contributions on resisting neoliberalisation in academia. Feminism has been long committed to highlighting the epistemic inequalities endured by women and marginalised people in academia. This study aims to draw on radical feminist perspectives and on the notion of prefigurative organising to rethink the topic of academic activism. How can feminist academic activism resist the neoliberal academia?
This study explores this question through a multi-vocal autoethnographic account of the event-organising process.
The production of feminist space within academia was shaped through material and epistemic tensions. The study critically reflects on the extent to which the event can be read as prefigurative feminist self-organising and as neoliberal academic career-focused self-organising. The study concludes that by creating a space for sisterhood and learning, the empowering potential of feminist organising is experienced.
The study shows both the difficulties and potentials for feminist organising within the university. The concept of “prefiguration” provides a theoretical framework enabling us to grasp the ongoing efforts on which feminist organising relies. It escapes a dichotomy between success and failure that fosters radical pessimism or optimism potentially hindering political action.
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 – This chapter addresses the interconnections between the development of feminism and the role of the nation-state, with particular reference to Canada. The general trajectory of Canadian feminism has much in common with the rest of the world, but it also has unique features that relate to Canada's proximity to the United States and to its lingering ties to the European colonial powers of Britain and France.
Approach – I cover the emergence and development of feminism in the academy in the context of Canadian political structures in two time periods; the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, which I see as a period of growth and promise, and the period of setbacks and challenges from the 1980s to the present.
Findings – Despite the setbacks, the challenges that confront feminism today, both nationally and globally, present opportunities to advance the goal of gender equity that has historically energized feminist actions in all arenas of social life.
Value of the chapter – The chapter contributes to the historical archives dealing with feminist activity in Canada in the second half of the 20th century.
Feminist perspectives from women of color did not emerge solely as a result from racism in the white feminist movements; such an assumption negates the agency of feminists…
Feminist perspectives from women of color did not emerge solely as a result from racism in the white feminist movements; such an assumption negates the agency of feminists of color (Roth, 2004). Instead, feminist perspectives by women of color emerged from historical and sociopolitical dynamics within their own communities of origin, as well as in relationship to each other, including in opposition to, and at times in concert with, the white feminist movements. This chapter explores the development, complexities, and unique contributions of Womanist, Black Feminist Thought, hip-hop, Chicana, Native American, global, Asian American, Arab American and ecofeminism. These feminist perspectives include overarching themes, such as the intersectionality of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, religion, nationality, and other important identities and issues. Each contemporary feminist theory also explores the interstices of issues such as education, health, economics, reproduction, sociopolitical, historical, organizational, technological, and myriad interrelated dynamics.
In 1920 Margaret Sanger called voluntary motherhood “the key to the temple of liberty” and noted that women were “rising in fundamental revolt” to claim their right to…
In 1920 Margaret Sanger called voluntary motherhood “the key to the temple of liberty” and noted that women were “rising in fundamental revolt” to claim their right to determine their own reproductive fate (Rothman, 2000, p. 73). Decades later Barbara Katz Rothman reflected on the social, political and legal changes produced by reproductive-rights feminists since that time. She wrote: So the reproductive-rights feminists of the 1970s won, and abortion is available – just as the reproductive-rights feminists of the 1920s won, and contraception is available. But in another sense, we did not win. We did not win, could not win, because Sanger was right. What we really wanted was the fundamental revolt, the “key to the temple of liberty.” A doctor’s fitting for a diaphragm, or a clinic appointment for an abortion, is not the revolution. It is not even a woman-centered approach to reproduction (2000, p. 79).
Since the late 1980s we’ve been inspired by feminist theorizing to interrogate our field of organization studies, looking critically at the questions it asks, at the…
Since the late 1980s we’ve been inspired by feminist theorizing to interrogate our field of organization studies, looking critically at the questions it asks, at the underlying premises of the theories allowing for such questions, and by articulating alternative premises as a way of suggesting other theories and thus other questions the field may need to ask. In so doing, our collaborative work has applied insights from feminist theorizing and cultural studies to topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, globalization, business ethics, issues of work and family, and more recently to sustainability. This text is a retrospective on our attempts at intervening in our field, where we sought to make it more fundamentally responsive to problems in the world we live in and, from this reflective position, considering how and why our field’s conventional theories and practices – despite good intentions – may be unable to do so.
With an aim to investigate the recent state of the feminist clinics and their negotiation of medical authority in a time of increased technoscientific biomedicalization…
With an aim to investigate the recent state of the feminist clinics and their negotiation of medical authority in a time of increased technoscientific biomedicalization, and capitalistic health-care system, I conducted a study of two feminist health centers in the Northeast of the United States in 2001–2002. In this chapter, I discuss how the two centers (a nonprofit collective and a for-profit center with a more hierarchical structure) negotiated medical authority in organizational terms as impacted by the larger context of medicine and its interaction with the state, capitalist health-care system, and antiabortion forces. The chapter concludes with a discussion of demedicalization as a multilevel process and implications for feminist care (service delivery) and U.S. Women's Health Movement.
I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave…
I am the oldest daughter from a family of five girls. I was born in the 1950s and had my first real encounters with feminism as a social movement during the second wave women's liberation movement in the United States in the 1970s. This movement had an important impact on me. Despite the appeal of the women's movement for me, I lived a powerfully gendered life. I had not been allowed to read The Lord of the rings series in school because I was a girl. I detested Barbie dolls and yet was sentenced to hours of play with them if I was to have any social life at all. I had to pretend that I neither liked nor was competent at math and science. My high school boyfriend was paying me a compliment when decades after high school he told me, “At least you never let on that you were smart. I always appreciated that about you.” When I attended the first day of a basic calculus class at a public university in 1981, the professor announced, “No female has ever passed a class with me.” In 1983, I was reprimanded by my elementary school principal for wearing slacks to teach. This was reminiscent of my childhood days when my parents finally, but only, allowed me to wear trousers to school on Fridays. In 1990, my 5-year-old daughter told me, “Well, mom, everyone knows boys are smarter than girls” (of course she has since changed her mind!).
Most studies of postcommunist Eastern Europe provide macro-economic and political analyses of the democratic transition. This paper uses the case of feminists publicizing…
Most studies of postcommunist Eastern Europe provide macro-economic and political analyses of the democratic transition. This paper uses the case of feminists publicizing efforts around domestic violence in Slovakia to explore how people express and sustain collective action in transitional democracies without established traditions of civic engagement. The analysis is situated in the complex historical juncture of the 1990s, which includes Slovakia's impending admission to the European Union, while its population remains politically apathetic and suspicious of mass movements and organizations as a result of the country's communist legacy. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews, it is argued that feminists’ strategic issue networks in the particular historical circumstances facilitated the speedy criminalization of domestic violence, but could not generate a cultural transformation of public and political attitudes. Sudden progressive legislative changes and the simplistic marketing campaign in a conservative political climate impeded the diffusion of a feminist definition of violence against women in related policy areas.