Debunking conventional wisdom that women had little impact on politics after gaining the vote, Kristi Andersen gives a compelling account of both the accomplishments and disappointments experienced by women in the decade after suffrage. This revisionist history traces how, despite male resistance to women's progress, the entrance of women and of their concerns into the public sphere transformed both the political system and women themselves.
Andersen shows how women's participation was based on a conception of women's citizenship as indirect and disinterested. Gaining the right to vote, campaign, and run for office transformed women's citizenship; at the same time, women's independent partisan stance, their focus on social welfare concerns, and their use of new political techniques such as lobbying all helped to redefine politics.
This fresh, nuanced analysis of women voters, activists, candidates, and officeholders will interest scholars in political science and women's studies.
"In this rich and engaging book, Kristi Anderson presents a convincing argument that woman suffrage deserves greater scrutiny as a social, cultural, and political force in the development of American electoral and party politics."—Jane Junn, Political Science Quarterly
"Anderson's innovation in this book is to change the dominant question asked about American women's suffrage. . . . This book offers a much-needed corrective to the conventional conception that the enfranchisement of women had no significant effect on American society."—Inderjeet Parmar, Political Studies
"Anderson's book is an excellent treatment . . . and a sterling example of the value of using multiple research methods—also steeped within a deep understanding of context, culture, and historic trends—to explain something as complicated and nuanced as the impact of women's votes after suffrage."—Laura R. Woliver, Journal of Politics
Daughters of the Union casts a spotlight on some of the most overlooked and least understood participants in the American Civil War: the women of the North. Unlike their Confederate counterparts, who were often caught in the midst of the conflict, most Northern women remained far from the dangers of battle. Nonetheless, they enlisted in the Union cause on their home ground, and the experience transformed their lives.
Nina Silber traces the emergence of a new sense of self and citizenship among the women left behind by Union soldiers. She offers a complex account, bolstered by women's own words from diaries and letters, of the changes in activity and attitude wrought by the war. Women became wage-earners, participants in partisan politics, and active contributors to the war effort. But even as their political and civic identities expanded, they were expected to subordinate themselves to male-dominated government and military bureaucracies.
Silber's arresting tale fills an important gap in women's history. She shows the women of the North--many for the first time--discovering their patriotism as well as their ability to confront new economic and political challenges, even as they encountered the obstacles of wartime rule. The Civil War required many women to act with greater independence in running their households and in expressing their political views. It brought women more firmly into the civic sphere and ultimately gave them new public roles, which would prove crucial starting points for the late-nineteenth-century feminist struggle for social and political equality.
Democratic Theorizing from the Margins lays out the basic parameters of diversity-based politics as a still emerging form of democratic theory. Students, activists, and scholars engage in diversity politics on the ground, but generally remain unable to conceptualize a broad understanding of how "politics from the margins"-that is, political thinking and action that comes from groups often left on the outside of mainstream organizing and action-operates effectively in different contexts and environments. Brettschneider offers concrete lessons from many movements to see what they tell us about a new sort of democratic politics. She also addresses traditional democratic theories and draws on the myriad discerning practices employed by marginalized groups in their political activism to enhance the critical capacities of potential movements committed both to social change and democratic action.
Seizing the space opened by the early 1990s democratization movement, Muslim women are carving an active, influential, but often-overlooked role for themselves during a time of great change. Engaging Modernity provides a compelling portrait of Muslim women in Niger as they confronted the challenges and opportunities of the late twentieth century.
Based on thorough scholarly research and extensive fieldwork—including a wealth of interviews—Ousseina Alidou’s work offers insights into the meaning of modernity for Muslim women in Niger. Mixing biography with sociological data, social theory and linguistic analysis, this is a multilayered vision of political Islam, education, popular culture, and war and its aftermath. Alidou offers a gripping look at one of the Muslim world’s most powerful untold stories.
Runner-up, Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association, 2007
En-Gendering India offers an innovative interpretation of the role that gender played in defining the Indian state during both the colonial and postcolonial eras. Focusing on both British and Indian literary texts—primarily novels—produced between 1857 and 1947, Sangeeta Ray examines representations of "native" Indian women and shows how these representations were deployed to advance notions of Indian self-rule as well as to defend British imperialism. Through her readings of works by writers including Bankimchandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore, Harriet Martineau, Flora Annie Steel, Anita Desai, and Bapsi Sidhaa, Ray demonstrates that Indian women were presented as upper class and Hindu, an idealization that paradoxically served the needs of both colonial and nationalist discourses. The Indian nation’s goal of self-rule was expected to enable women’s full participation in private and public life. On the other hand, British colonial officials rendered themselves the protectors of passive Indian women against their “savage” male countrymen. Ray shows how the native woman thus became a symbol for both an incipient Indian nation and a fading British Empire. In addition, she reveals how the figure of the upper-class Hindu woman created divisions with the nationalist movement itself by underscoring caste, communal, and religious differences within the newly emerging state. As such, Ray’s study has important implications for discussions about nationalism, particularly those that address the concepts of identity and nationalism. Building on recent scholarship in feminism and postcolonial studies, En-Gendering India will be of interest to scholars in those fields as well as to specialists in nationalism and nation-building and in Victorian, colonial, and postcolonial literature and culture.
The women's movement in India has a long and rich history in which millions of ordinary women live, work, and struggle to survive in order to remake their family, home, and social lives. Whether fighting for safe contraception, literacy, water, and electricity or resisting sexual harassment, a vibrant and active women's movement is thriving in many parts of India today.
Fields of Protest explores the political and cultural circumstances under which groups of women organize to fight for their rights and self-worth. Starting with Bombay and Calcutta, Raka Ray discusses the creation of "political fields"--structured, unequal, and socially constructed political environments within which organizations exist, flourish, or fail. In other words, women's organizations are not autonomous or free agents; rather, they inherit a "field" and its accompanying social relations, and when they act, they act in response to it and within it. Drawing on the literature of both social movements and feminism, Ray analyzes the striking differences between the movements in these two cities.
Using an innovative and comparative perspective, Ray offers a unique look at Indian activist women and adds a new dimension to the study of women's movements on a global level.
"Raka Ray's very important and vividly-textured study of women's radical political activism in Bombay and Calcutta between the seventies and the nineties, breaks two of the strongest walls of silence: about Left-radical politics, and about women's self-organization and modes of struggle within as well as against the grain of Left discourses. Written with sparkle, lucidity and affection." Economic and Political Weekly
"Drawing on the literature describing social movements and feminism in India, Ray analyzes the differences between the causes that define women's struggles in Bombay and Calcutta and the differences in their style and strategy. She also traces the history of women's movements in India and provides a list of political parties and women's organizations in India." India Abroad
"This is one of the most important books about women's movements written in the past decade. An eminently readable book. A rich and compelling account of the vitality and complexity of the contemporary Indian women's movement." American Journal of Sociology
"This is a innovative comparative political analysis. Ray's use of personal life stories of activist women helps to create an interesting and lively discussion of local women's movements in a global context." Journal of Women's History
"Raka Ray's book is an end-of the-millennium gem in the treasure chest of literature on women's movement in India. Ray gives us an important book. Her historical details regarding the political realities in Bombay and Calcutta are as impressive as the exhaustiveness of her interview-based research. Ray's book offers stylistic and methodological insights that can attract the attention of an India novice as well as prove useful to a seasoned India researcher, interested in local-level politics and local women's movements." Gender and Society
"Fields of Protest is an important demonstration of how collective interests and identities are shaped within varying locations." Feminist Collections
"Raka Ray's skillful analysis provides an understanding of the regional variations in the issues and agendas of the women's movement through a comparison of women's organizations in two metropolitan cities." Feminist Studies
"Fields of Protest is a graceful, smart, careful study. Its central argument is clearly developed and well substantiated through reference to excellent interviews with activists in the two cities. Ray deftly moves back and forth between the local, regional, and national level, the stories of activists and debates among sociologists and women's studies scholars. What Ray does very successfully is to fulfill her promise of moving beyond the simple dichotomy between heroism and victimization to explore the nuanced, complicated ways in which women live, work, and struggle." Journal of Asian Studies
"An informative and exciting read for those interested in rethinking feminist activism in India and other countries in relation to its contexts of Left and political activity, and for those interested in re-siting the articulation of political struggle in urban, rather than simply regional and national spaces." Chicago South Asia Newsletter
Raka Ray is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
In Finding the Movement, Anne Enke reveals that diverse women’s engagement with public spaces gave rise to and profoundly shaped second-wave feminism. Focusing on women’s activism in Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis-St. Paul during the 1960s and 1970s, Enke describes how women across race and class created a massive groundswell of feminist activism by directly intervening in the urban landscape. They secured illicit meeting spaces and gained access to public athletic fields. They fought to open bars to women and abolish gendered dress codes and prohibitions against lesbian congregation. They created alternative spaces, such as coffeehouses, where women could socialize and organize. They opened women-oriented bookstores, restaurants, cafes, and clubs, and they took it upon themselves to establish women’s shelters, health clinics, and credit unions in order to support women’s bodily autonomy.
By considering the development of feminism through an analysis of public space, Enke expands and revises the historiography of second-wave feminism. She suggests that the movement was so widespread because it was built by people who did not identify themselves as feminists as well as by those who did. Her focus on claims to public space helps to explain why sexuality, lesbianism, and gender expression were so central to feminist activism. Her spatial analysis also sheds light on hierarchies within the movement. As women turned commercial, civic, and institutional spaces into sites of activism, they produced, as well as resisted, exclusionary dynamics.
This groundbreaking collection introduces the concept of gender power as a pervasive but overlooked force within institutions, particularly U.S. politics. It examines the ideological dimensions of masculinity--masculinism--and its pervasive and reinforcing effects. The essays examine gender as a property of institutions, something with deep symbolic meaning, as well as an analytic category importantly distinctive from sex. Theoretically rich, Gender Power, Leadership and Governance contributes to understandings of power and leadership as it provides a new perspective on men, women, and their relationships to governance.
Essays reveal the multiplicity of ways "compulsory masculinity" is imposed upon female leaders who wish to succeed in a man's world, and analyzes the use of interpersonal means to ensure masculine advantage. For example, only one woman in Congress was able to have a direct effect on any reproductive policy; other women experienced sexual harassment by offensive men, which resulted in their being distracted from performing as leaders.
Until now, studies of gender within the field of political science have focused centrally on women. Men have been studied as gendered beings whose thinking has shaped politics in ways advantageous to them, but this volume is unique in crossing multiple levels of analysis and demonstrating the interactive and reinforcing effects of gender power. The book is required reading for political scientists who have frequently been blind to masculinist assumptions and cultural belief systems when gender roles collide with leadership demands for women. It will also appeal to those in public administration and policy, sociology, and business studies.
"An important book that challenges the ways empirical research is done and the ways social scientists think about gender."--Nancy Hartsock, University of Washington
"A very useful book on gender and political leadership that weaves together scholarly research with practical applications and suggestions for change."--Virginia Sapiro, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"A very ambitious book, attempting no less than a paradigm shift in social science thinking."--Marcia Lynn Whicker, Rutgers University
Georgia Duerst-Lahti is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Government, Beloit College. Rita Mae Kelly is Director and Chair of the School of Justice Studies, and Professor of Justice Studies, Political Science, and Women's Studies, Arizona State University.
Half-Life of a Zealot
Swanee Hunt Duke University Press, 2006 Library of Congress E840.8.H87A3 2006 | Dewey Decimal 327.730092
Swanee Hunt’s life has lived up to her Texas-size childhood. Daughter of legendary oil magnate H. L. Hunt, she grew up in a household dominated by an arch-conservative patriarch who spawned a brood of colorful offspring. Her family was nothing if not zealous, and that zeal—albeit for more compassionate causes—propelled her into a mission that reaches around the world.
Half-Life of a Zealot tells how the girl who spoke against “Reds” alongside her father became a fierce advocate for progressive change in America and abroad, an innovative philanthropist, and Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Austria. In captivating prose, Hunt describes the warmth and wear of Southern Baptist culture, which instilled in her a calling to help those who are vulnerable. The reader is drawn into her full-throttle professional life as it competes with critical family needs.
Hunt gives a remarkably frank account of her triumphs and shortcomings; her sorrows, including a miscarriage and the failure of a marriage; the joys and struggles of her second marriage; and her angst over the life-threatening illness of one of her three children. She is candid about the opportunities her fortune has created, as well as the challenge of life as an heiress.
Much of Swanee Hunt’s professional life is devoted to expanding women’s roles in making and shaping public policy. She is the founding director of Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, chair of the Initiative for Inclusive Security, and president of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.
Swanee Hunt’s autobiography brims over with strong women: her mother, whose religious faith and optimism were an inspiration; her daughter, who fights the social stigma of mental disorders; the women of war-torn Bosnia, who transformed their grief into action; and friends like Hillary Clinton, who used her position as First Lady to strengthen the voices of others.
Hunt is one more strong woman. Half-Life of a Zealot is her story—so far.
Is a "woman-friendly" state possible? Can women achieve full social citizenship? At a time when backlash against people of color, women, and the poor is accelerating, this account of the experiences of Australian feminists is illuminating: Australian feminists succeeded in making women's issues like child care and domestic violence part of the main stream political agenda. Inside Agitators is the first full-length study of the Australian femocrats published in the United States.
Hester Eisenstein (herself a former femocrat) chronicles the efforts of a cohort of women, feminist bureaucrats, who changed the gender landscape--from the initial invitation to enter government by Labor in 1973 to the rise of neo-liberalism and the contemporary attack on the public sector. Connecting the femocrats to specifically Australian features of political culture and political economy, this book analyzes the implicit political theory of the femocrats. Eisenstein addresses the issues of strategies for social change, class, race and racism, sexuality and sexual politics, "gendered" experience, and accountability to the women's movement.
This important study explores the possibilities and limits of the contemporary attempt by the women's movement to constitute women as a "gender interest," and to use state power as an instrument for social change.
Nelly Richard is one of the most prominent cultural theorists writing in Latin America today. As a participant in Chile’s neo-avantgarde, Richard worked to expand the possibilities for cultural debate within the constraints imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship (1973–1990), and she has continued to offer incisive commentary about the country’s transition to democracy. Well known as the founder and director of the influential Santiago-based journal Revista de crítica cultural, Richard has been central to the dissemination throughout Latin America of work by key contemporary thinkers, including Néstor García Canclini, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, and Diamela Eltit. Her own writing provides rigorous considerations of Latin American identity, postmodernism, gender, neoliberalism, and strategies of political and cultural resistance.
Richard helped to organize the 1987 International Conference on Latin American Women’s Literature in Santiago, one of the most significant literary events to take place under the Pinochet dictatorship. Published in Chile in 1993, Masculine/Feminine develops some of the key issues brought to the fore during that landmark meeting. Richard theorizes why the feminist movement has been crucial not only to the liberation of women but also to understanding the ways in which power operated under the military regime in Chile. In one of her most widely praised essays, she explores the figure of the transvestite, artistic imagery of which exploded during the Chilean dictatorship. She examines the politics and the aesthetics of this phenomenon, particularly against the background of prostitution and shantytown poverty, and she argues that gay culture works to break down the social demarcations and rigid structures of city life. Masculine/Feminine makes available, for the first time in English, one of Latin America’s most significant works of feminist theory.
The first psychosocial study of the female intelligentsia in Russia, Mothers and Daughters explains how and why women radicals of the nineteenth century diverged from their male counterparts, describes the forces that led women to rebel, and discusses their legacy to future generations. Throughout, Engel brings nineteenth-century women to life, humanizing history as she presents a case study of how the personal became political in a time and place different from our own.
France today is in the throes of a crisis about whether to represent social differences within its political system and, if so, how. It is a crisis defined by the rhetoric of a universalism that takes the abstract individual to be the representative not only of citizens but also of the nation. In Parité! Joan Wallach Scott shows how the requirement for abstraction has led to the exclusion of women from French politics.
During the 1990s, le mouvement pour la parité successfully campaigned for women's inclusion in elective office with an argument that is unprecedented in the annals of feminism. The paritaristes insisted that if the abstract individual were thought of as sexed, then sexual difference would no longer be a relevant consideration in politics. Scott insists that this argument was neither essentialist nor separatist; it was not about women's special qualities or interests. Instead, parité was rigorously universalist—and for that reason was both misunderstood and a source of heated debate.
The culmination of one of the most famous long-term studies in American sociology, this examination of political attitudes among women who attended Bennington College in the 1930s and 1940s now spans five decades, from late adolescence to old age. Theodore Newcomb’s 1930s interviews at Bennington, where the faculty held progressive views that contrasted with those of the conservative families of the students, showed that political orientations are still quite malleable in early adulthood. The studies in 1959-60 and 1984 show the persistence of political attitudes over the adult life span: the Bennington women, raised in conservative homes, were liberalized in their college years and have remained politically involved and liberal in their views, even in their sixties and seventies.
Here the authors analyze the earlier studies and then introduce the 1984 data. Using data from National Election Studies for comparison, they show that the Bennington group is more liberal and hold its opinions more intensely than both older and younger Americans, with the exception of the generation that achieved political maturity in the 1960s. The authors point out that the majority of the Bennington women’s children are of this 1945–54 generation and suggest that this factor played an important role in the stability of the women’s political views. Within their own generation, the Bennington women also appear to hold stronger political views than other college-educated women.
Innovative in its methodology and extremely rich in its data, this work will contribute to developmental and social psychology, sociology, political science, women’s studies, and gerontology.
Why, after several generations of suffrage and a revival of the women's movement in the late 1960s, do women continue to be less politically active than men? Why are they less likely to seek public office or join political organizations? The Private Roots of Public Action is the most comprehensive study of this puzzle of unequal participation.
The authors develop new methods to trace gender differences in political activity to the nonpolitical institutions of everyday life--the family, school, workplace, nonpolitical voluntary association, and church. Different experiences with these institutions produce differences in the resources, skills, and political orientations that facilitate participation--with a cumulative advantage for men. In addition, part of the solution to the puzzle of unequal participation lies in politics itself: where women hold visible public office, women citizens are more politically interested and active. The model that explains gender differences in participation is sufficiently general to apply to participatory disparities among other groups--among the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly or among Latinos, African-Americans and Anglo-Whites.
This collection of eighteen articles shows how conceptions of the political are expanded and revised when viewed through the lens of gender. Carefully organized to serve scholars and students across the social sciences, this book reexamines such basic notions as citizenship, collectivity, political resistance, and the state, drawing on examples with important historical and national variations.
Section One, "Gender, Citizenship, and Collectivity," includes Nancy Frazer and Linda Gordon's critique of dependency and citizenship; Iris Young on women as a social collective; Ruth Bloch on the feminization of public virtue in revolutionary America; Trisha Franzen on feminism and lesbian community, and Sonia Kruks on de Beauvoir and contemporary feminism.
"Collective Action and Women's Resistance," Section Two, features Louis Tilly's "Paths of Proletarianization"; Temma Kaplan's "Female Consciousness and Collective Action"; and five assessments of women's collective action worldwide: Samira Haj on Palestine, Arlene McLeod on Egypt, Gay Seidman on South Africa, Nancy Sternbach et al. on Latin America, and Anne Walthall on Japan.
Concluding with a section on gender and the state, Rethinking the Political also features Bronwyn Winter on the law and cultural relativism; Sherene Razack on sexual violence; Wendy Luttrell on educational institutions; Patricia Stamp on ethnic conflict in postcolonial Kenya; Elizabeth Schmidt on patriarchy and capitalism in Zimbabwe; and Muriel Nazzari on the "woman question" in post-revolutionary Cuba.
Sex in Revolution challenges the prevailing narratives of the Mexican Revolution and postrevolutionary state formation by placing women at center stage. Bringing to bear decades of feminist scholarship and cultural approaches to Mexican history, the essays in this book demonstrate how women seized opportunities created by modernization efforts and revolutionary upheaval to challenge conventions of sexuality, work, family life, religious practices, and civil rights.
Concentrating on episodes and phenomena that occurred between 1915 and 1950, the contributors deftly render experiences ranging from those of a transgendered Zapatista soldier to upright damas católicas and Mexico City’s chicas modernas pilloried by the press and male students. Women refashioned their lives by seeking relief from bad marriages through divorce courts and preparing for new employment opportunities through vocational education. Activists ranging from Catholics to Communists mobilized for political and social rights. Although forced to compromise in the face of fierce opposition, these women made an indelible imprint on postrevolutionary society.
These essays illuminate emerging practices of femininity and masculinity, stressing the formation of subjectivity through civil-society mobilizations, spectatorship and entertainment, and locales such as workplaces, schools, churches, and homes. The volume’s epilogue examines how second-wave feminism catalyzed this revolutionary legacy, sparking widespread, more radically egalitarian rural women’s organizing in the wake of late-twentieth-century democratization campaigns. The conclusion considers the Mexican experience alongside those of other postrevolutionary societies, offering a critical comparative perspective.
Contributors. Ann S. Blum, Kristina A. Boylan, Gabriela Cano, María Teresa Fernández Aceves, Heather Fowler-Salamini, Susan Gauss, Temma Kaplan, Carlos Monsiváis, Jocelyn Olcott, Anne Rubenstein, Patience Schell, Stephanie Smith, Lynn Stephen, Julia Tuñón, Mary Kay Vaughan
Katherine Isbester University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ1236.5.N5I83 2001 | Dewey Decimal 305.42097285
The story of the women’s movement in Nicaragua is a fascinating tale of resistance, strategy, and faith. From its birth in 1977 under the Somoza dictatorship through the Sandinista revolution to the fall of the Chamorro government, the Nicaraguan women’s movement has navigated revolutionary upheaval, profound changes in government, and rapidly shifting definitions of women’s roles in society. Through it all, the movement has surged, regressed, and persevered, entering the twenty-first century a powerful and influential force, stretching from the grassroots to the national level.
How did women in an economically underdeveloped Central American country, with little history of organizing, feminism, or democracy, succeed in creating networks, organizations, and campaigns that carved out a gender identity and challenged dominant ideologies (both revolutionary and conservative)? In Still Fighting, Katherine Isbester seeks to understand. She analyzes the complex and rich case of Nicaragua in order to learn more about the dynamics of social movements in general and women’s organizing in particular.
Social movement theory offers Isbester an analytic tool to explain the extraordinary evolution of the Nicaraguan movement. She theorizes that a sustainable movement is composed of three elements: a focused goal, a mobilization of resources, and an identity. The lack of any one of these weakens a social movement. Isbester shows how this theory is borne out by the experience of the Nicaraguan women’s movement over the past thirty years. She demonstrates, for example, how the revolutionary government of the 1980s co-opted the women’s movement, crippling its ability to create an autonomous identity, choose it own goals, and mobilize resources independent of the state. Hence, it lost legitimacy, membership, and influence. She traces the movement’s resurgence in the 1990s, the result of its redefinition as an autonomous movement organized around an identity of care.
Still Fighting combines social theory with field research, leading a new wave of scholarship on women in Latin America. Isbester interviewed more than a hundred key participants in the women’s movement, in addition to members of the National Assembly, male leaders of other social movements, and women outside the movement. In Nicaragua, she was witness to much political organizing, enabling her to reveal the organic intricacy, as well as the historical path, of a social movement.
Still Fighting will be an important book for a broad range of students and professionals in the areas of social movements, social change, gender, politics, and Latin America.
Toward a Feminist Theory of the State presents Catharine MacKinnon’s powerful analysis of politics, sexuality, and the law from the perspective of women. Using the debate over Marxism and feminism as a point of departure, MacKinnon develops a theory of gender centered on sexual subordination and applies it to the state. The result is an informed and compelling critique of inequality and a transformative vision of a direction for social change.
Why don’t more women run for office? Why are certain states more likely to have female candidates and representatives? Would strengthening political parties narrow the national gender gap? Where Women Run addresses these important questions through a rare and incisive look at how candidates are recruited. Drawing on surveys and case studies of party leaders and legislators in six states, political scientist Kira Sanbonmatsu analyzes the links between parties and representation, exposing the mechanism by which parties’ informal recruitment practices shape who runs—or doesn’t run—for political office in America.
“Kira Sanbonmatsu has done a masterful job of linking the representation of women in elective office to the activities of party organizations in the states. She combines qualitative and quantitative data to show how women are navigating the campaign process to become elected leaders and the changing role of party organizations in their recruitment and election. It is a significant contribution to the study of representative democracy.”
--Barbara Burrell, Northern Illinois University
“Sanbonmatsu has produced an excellent study that will invigorate research on the role of political parties and the recruitment of women candidates. Using a variety of methods and data sources, she has crafted a tightly constructed, clearly argued, and exceedingly well-written study. A commendable and convincing job.”
--Gary Moncrief, Boise State University
“Sanbonmatsu offers important insights in two neglected areas of American politics: the role of political parties in recruiting candidates and the continued under-representation of women in elected office. Connecting the two subjects through careful qualitative and statistical methods, insightful interpretation of the literature and interesting findings, the book is a significant new addition to scholarship on parties, gender, and political recruitment.”
--Linda Fowler, Dartmouth College
Kira Sanbonmatsu is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). She was previously associate professor at Ohio State University. She is the author of Democrats, Republicans, and the Politics of Women’s Place.
Feminism underwent perhaps its most difficult challenges in the 1980s, when conservatism reached the height of its influence in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Women on the Defensive: Living through Conservative Times explodes some widely-held beliefs about women and women's movements under Conservative and Republican leaders.
Prevailing accounts of the fate of women's movements in that decade ascribe their hardships to a postfeminist ideology or the result of a "backlash" against women, particularly in America. Sylvia Bashevkin's study excavates, however, a much more complex situation. By identifying the policies and goals held in common by feminists in all three countries and tracing their collision course with the conservative policies of the three administrations, she is able to document setbacks but also some progress, despite the right-of-center leaders. She also challenges the assumption that organized interests in the United States are less vulnerable in hard times than those in parliamentary systems, finding that the elections of Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, and Margaret Thatcher had similar effects on both sides of the Atlantic. Her comparative analysis reveals that the policies of current leaders, while marginally better than their predecessors, will not allow women and women's movements to regain lost ground.
Organized thematically, rather than by country, Women on the Defensive describes the difficult relationship between feminists and conservatives during a time of bitter ideological and policy battles when the vibrant social movements of the 1960s and 1970s were seriously threatened.
"Women and the Politics of Empowerment is filled with pictures of women whose lives the masculinist ideology of our disciplines has said are not worthy of our interest. Bookman, Morgen, and their colleagues awaken all kinds of ideas about where to go from here."
--Women & Politics
According to popular conception, working-class women in the United States are part of the "silent majority." But during the 1970s and early 1980s these women have been far from silent. Speaking out both individually and collectively, they have staked new political ground for themselves and their families. Drawing on case studies of community and workplace organizing, these original essays redefine our notions of "the political" and address a wide range of topics, including the creation and reform of unions, domestic service, street vending, working-class education, health care, and social services.
The contributors have focused on working-class women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds employed in a wide variety of jobs. Women and the Politics of Empowerment documents the story of women learning about the sources of their powerlessness and mobilizing to increase their power.
"Drawing together an excellent compilation of case studies of community and workplace organizing, Bookman and Morgen redefine the political arena and process. They focus on the statuses of working-class and low-income women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, thereby giving attention to women who have been largely ignored as actors in the political arenaâ€¦. These rich and varied case materials are useful for the scholar-researcher, the activist, and for the teacher in women's studies, social work, public policy, education, and public health."
"Don't let the titleâ€¦scare youâ€¦. The book is devoted to bridging the gap between theory and practice, between feminism and working-class women. And it succeeds, through fourteen widely disparate, yet complementary essays about working-class women, Black, Latina and white, struggling on the job and in their communities for social change."
--New Directions for Women
Women Strike for Peace is the only historical account of this ground-breaking women's movement. Amy Swerdlow, a founding member of WSP, restores to the historical record a significant chapter on American politics and women's studies. Weaving together narrative and analysis, she traces WSP's triumphs, problems, and legacy for the women's movement and American society.
Women Strike for Peace began on November 1, 1961, when thousands of white, middle-class women walked out of their kitchens and off their jobs in a one-day protest against Soviet and American nuclear policies. The protest led to a national organization of women who fought against nuclear arms and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. While maintaining traditional maternal and feminine roles, members of WSP effectively challenged national policies—defeating a proposal for a NATO nuclear fleet, withstanding an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and sending one of its leaders to Congress as a peace candidate.
As a study of a dissident group grounded in prescribed female culture, and the struggle of its members to avoid being trapped within that culture, this book adds a crucial new dimension to women's studies. In addition, this account of WSP's success as a grass roots, nonhierarchical movement will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and anyone interested in peace studies or conflict resolution.
"Swerdlow has re-created a unique piece of American political history, a chapter of the international peace movement, and an origin of the modern feminist movement. No historian, activist, or self-respecting woman should be without Women Strike for Peace. It shows not only how one group of women created change, but also how they inevitably changed themselves."—Gloria Steinem
The transition to democracy in South Africa was one of the defining events in twentieth-century political history. The South African women’s movement is one of the most celebrated on the African continent. Shireen Hassim examines interactions between the two as she explores the gendered nature of liberation and regime change. Her work reveals how women’s political organizations both shaped and were shaped by the broader democratic movement. Alternately asserting their political independence and giving precedence to the democratic movement as a whole, women activists proved flexible and remarkably successful in influencing policy. At the same time, their feminism was profoundly shaped by the context of democratic and nationalist ideologies. In reading the last twenty-five years of South African history through a feminist framework, Hassim offers fresh insights into the interactions between civil society, political parties, and the state.
Hassim boldly confronts sensitive issues such as the tensions between autonomy and political dependency in feminists’ engagement with the African National Congress (ANC) and other democratic movements, and black-white relations within women’s organizations. She offers a historically informed discussion of the challenges facing feminist activists during a time of nationalist struggle and democratization.
Winner, Victoria Schuck Award for best book on women and politics, American Political Science Association
“An exceptional study, based on extensive research. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“A rich history of women’s organizations in South African . . . . [Hassim] had observed at first hand, and often participated in, much of what she described. She had access to the informants and private archives that so enliven the narrative and enrich the analysis. She provides a finely balanced assessment.”—Gretchen Bauer, African Studies Review