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STUDY OF A FEMINIST COMMUNITY: SELF-IDENTITY, COMMUNITY AND POLITICS (MASSACHUSETTS)
This study explores a feminist community centered in the Northampton-Amherst, Massachusetts area in an effort to learn about the connections between feminist community, identity, and politics--connections that might not only help to strengthen that community, but also provide some insight into how the women's movement could become healthier and stronger. In addition to historical research and a modified version of participant observation, material for this project was provided largely by the experiences and thoughts of 148 feminists active in the area. They responded to a seventeen page questionnaire of closed- and open-ended questions sent out in the Fall of 1982 that asked about feminist identity, the local feminist community and activity, and feminist theory and practice at large. With their words and voices, the project attempts to knit together both qualitative and quantitative data that documents the past and present life of feminism in the area. The project explores how women became politicized as feminists, their self-identification and understanding of feminists, their perceptions of and relationship to the local feminist community and activity as well as their interrelationship, their visions of feminism, and their ideas for its future direction. The study shows the difficulty of documenting and sustaining a community that is organized around a feminist ideology and constituted by women of different sexual preferences. It suggests the extent to which an ideological feminist community is both an ambiguous and subjective concept. In that community, self-identity, and politics are connected, it also suggests not only the importance of building feminist community, but also where feminists may intervene to help build a stronger feminist movement.
BROWN, LOUISE SNOWDEN, "STUDY OF A FEMINIST COMMUNITY: SELF-IDENTITY, COMMUNITY AND POLITICS (MASSACHUSETTS)" (1986). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8612020.