Sociology Index

WOMEN'S MOVEMENT

Gender and Women, Women's Liberation Theory, Women's Movement Syllabus

The phrase Women's Movement applies to social and political organizations and activities that have the goal of advancing the status of women in society, overcoming cultural marginalization of women's perspectives and experience in society.

Redstockings women championed women's movement for women's liberation and developed slogans and actions such as consciousness-raising, the Pro-Woman Line, sisterhood is powerful, and "speakouts" that would break the taboos of silence around subjects like abortion. Redstockings today is a grassroots, activist "think tank", established for defending and advancing the women's liberation agenda.

Mass Media and the Women's Movement: 1900-1977 
Francesca M. Cancian, School of Social Sciences, Bonnie L. Ross, School of Social Sciences, University of California
News coverage of women is strongly related to the women's movement. The quantity of coverage was measured from 1900 to 1977 for the New York Times and the periodicals in the Reader's Guide. Television coverage of the women's movement and newspaper reporting of the civil rights movement were also examined. Coverage of women was highest when the women's movement was strong; however, there was little media coverage of the early stages of the current women's movement and civil rights movement.

A Movement Moves ... Is There a Women's Movement in England Today? - Kate Nash, Goldsmiths College, Univ of London 
There is a diversity of views among feminists who have been debating whether or not a women's movement exists in Britain today. In part this is due to the lack of a clear working definition of social movement. The article looks at the history of second-wave feminism in England using the two main schools of social movement theory: the 'contentious politics' model focusing on organizations and formal political structures; and the 'submerged networks' theory that takes solidarity, conflict and challenging dominant cultural codes to be central to social movements.

How Did the First Jewish Women's Movement Draw on Progressive Women's Activism and Jewish Traditions, 1893-1936? 
Abstract: The first Jewish women's movement in the United States began after the upsurge of eastern European immigration to the United States in the 1880s and continued until around 1920. Many of the affluent, German Jewish "uptown" women who had immigrated during the first wave committed themselves to helping these immigrants begin to make a life for themselves in America. The leaders of this first Jewish women's movement identified both with American Progressivism and Judaic traditions. The women who participated in the Jewish women's movement worked in many ways to improve the lives of the poor.

 

How Did Diverse Activists in the Second Wave of the Women's Movement Shape Emerging Public Policy on Sexual Harassment?
Abstract: A close look at the history of the emergence of sexual harassment activism reveals a diverse group of people involved in conceptualizing and theorizing sexual harassment, and creating legal prohibitions against it. African-American women, blue-collar women, as well as middle-class white women participated in different ways to create a powerful movement that changed the social landscape of U.S. workplaces and schools.

Social Action Theory and the Women's Movement: An Analysis of Assumptions
Bill Lee and Wendy Weeks, Bill Lee is Associate Professor of Social Work at McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and Wendy Lee, Director, Department of Social Work, Philip Institute Melbourne, Australia 
Community organizing theory, implicit in the writings of "social action" authors such as Alinsky, Freire and Piven and Cloward is based on assumptions about class, poverty and unity, as well as the nature of politics and community. These assumptions are both important to and challenged by the experience of Women's Movement organizing.

News Media Portrayals of the Women's Movement, 1969–2004 
Maryann Barakso, Brian F. Schaffner, Department of Government, School of Public Affairs, American University
Contemporary feminist scholars and activists often criticize the women's movement for focusing on a narrow agenda that does not represent the true needs of American women.Yet a review of the agendas of women's movement organizations reveals a broad concern for many of the issues that they are criticized for ignoring. What explains this disconnect? Analyzing coverage of women's movement organizations in television and print news media, the authors find that reporters have exercised a great deal of discretion over which women's movement issues they have chosen to report on during the past three decades. In particular, this has led to overrepresentation of the abortion issue in news coverage of women's movement organizations than other important issues.

The Women's Movement and the Media: Constructing a Public Identity 
Elisabeth A. van Zoonen
The relationship of the women's movement with news media has rarely been subjected to systematic analysis. This article presents the results of an extensive study of the interaction between the media and the women's movement in the Netherlands at the time of the movement's resurrection in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Discourse analysis of news coverage shows that the movement's public identity is constructed within a liberal feminist framework and is built upon three `foundations': `emancipation' is legitimate, 'feminism' is deviant; movement activists are quite different from and not representative of 'ordinary' women; the movement is directed against men.

Male Power and the Women's Movement 
Barbara Bovee Polk - jab.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/3/415
The power relationship between females and males is explored using four differing perspectives found in the contemporary women's movement: analysis of socially defined sex roles, conflicting cultures, power analysis, and the socialist perspective. The sources of male power suggested by these perspectives are identified, and the varying activities of the women's movement are discussed in terms of their potential impact on these forms of power.

How Did Diverse Activists Shape the Dress Reform Movement, 1838-1881?
by Melissa Doak and Melissa Karetny.
Abstract: This project focuses on three different strands of dress reform activity: the water curists, the Oneida community, and woman's rights reformers. Each of these groups attempted to reform women's dress for a variety of reasons. An examination of the three currents in the dress reform movement allows for a complex picture of the varied reasons why women attempted to break free of the restraints of nineteenth-century women's fashionable clothing.

How Did the First Jewish Women's Movement Draw on Progressive Women's Activism and Jewish Traditions, 1893-1936? by Joyce Antler, Nina Schwartz, and Claire Uziel.
Abstract: The first Jewish women's movement in the United States began after the upsurge of eastern European immigration to the United States in the 1880s and continued until around 1920. Those who composed the movement were mostly middle- and upper-class women who had emigrated from Germany and Central Europe. These women frequently referred to the triumphs of biblical women to help persuade other Jewish women to join their movement, but the Great Migration of 1881 was the primary factor that energized Jewish women to begin an organized fight for social reform. Modeling themselves to a large extent on the American settlement-house movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the actions of secular Progressive reformers, the leaders of this first Jewish women's movement identified both with American Progressivism and Judaic traditions.

How Did the Debate Between Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett Shape the Women's Movement to Legalize Birth Control, 1915-1924? by Melissa Doak and Rachel Brugger.
Abstract: The Comstock Law of 1873 essentially ended two centuries of free dissemination of information about how to prevent pregnancy, but it met with relatively little opposition until the second decade of the twentieth century, when reformers Mary Ware Dennett and Margaret Sanger took up the "birth control" cause. The two women adopted differing approaches to the birth control question, however.

How Did State Commissions on the Status of Women Overcome Historic Antagonisms between Equal Rights and Labor Feminists to Create a New Feminist Mainstream, 1963-1973? by Kathleen A. Laughlin.
Abstract: The Equal Rights Amendment divided organized Feminism from the 1920s until the modern women's movement in the 1960s. This project explores how the deliberations of state commissions on the status of women in the 1960s provided a mechanism to overcome historic antagonisms between equal rights and labor feminists.

How Did Diverse Activists in the Second Wave of the Women's Movement Shape Emerging Public Policy on Sexual Harassment? - by Carrie N. Baker.
Abstract: A close look at the history of the emergence of sexual harassment activism reveals a diverse group of people involved in conceptualizing and theorizing sexual harassment, and creating legal prohibitions against it. African-American women, blue-collar women, as well as middle-class white women participated in different ways to create a powerful movement that changed the social landscape of U.S. workplaces and schools.