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Gender, Social Movements and

Nancy Whittier


Social movements are shaped by gender systems and they also are a source of social change in gender. Some social movements directly attempt to change gender relations; these movements, particularly women's movements, have been the focus of considerable scholarship. Increasingly, scholars also recognize the gendered nature of other social movements and the impact of systemic inequalities of gender on the opportunities, constraints, and forms of social movements in general. Research on gender and social movements has proceeded through several stages. Initial works focused on documenting women's movements, including feminist and non-feminist movements, and explaining their emergence and development. A second phase of work began to analyze gender in social movements more broadly, including masculinity, and to analyze the intersections between gender, race, class, and nationality in social movements. Most recently, numerous scholars have begun to examine the ways that movements are gendered in their origins, collective identities, frames and discourses, organizational structures, tactics, and political and cultural opportunities. In doing so, they contribute to a rethinking of the basic concepts of the field of social movements. These phases are similar to those for scholarship on gender more broadly, which initially focused on documenting women's experiences and remedying male bias, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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