The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe: Consciousness, Political Opportunity, and Public Policy

The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe: Consciousness, Political Opportunity, and Public Policy

The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe: Consciousness, Political Opportunity, and Public Policy

The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe: Consciousness, Political Opportunity, and Public Policy

Excerpt

This book focuses on the feminist movement of seven Western democracies. Our intent is not to present a profile of women's economic, social, or political status in these countries. We seek, rather, to chart the rich political terrain where feminist movements, gender consciousness, and political institutions converge and interact. The feminist movements of these seven countries share a common transformational agenda -- the goal of transforming the activities, behavior, beliefs, and identities that constitute the basis of social life organized around gender hierarchy. This agenda has led to a common attack on culture as well as institutional practice, on consciousness as well as the distribution of resources. But feminist movements rarely confront identical political opportunities. The political options of these movements depend entirely on the varied and complex ways in which movement goals and consciousness intersect with the interests of political parties and state institutions. This book is about these political intersections.

We owe a very great debt to Sidney Tarrow, who was the initiator and lead organizer of the conference at Cornell that provided the initial ideas for this book. The support of the Council of European Studies, the Department of Government, and the Women's Studies and Western Societies programs was critical to that conference. We thank Delores Robinson and David Armstrong, who handled much of the typing and production work, and we gratefully acknowledge the support of the Murray Center at Radcliffe College, the Center for Research for Women at Wellesley College, and the Jonathan Meigs fund at Cornell.

Mary Fainsod Katzenstein Carol McClurg Mueller . . .

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