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Feminist consciousness-raising in the 1970s and 1980s: West Yorkshire women's groups and their impact on women's lives

Rogers, Anna E. (2010) Feminist consciousness-raising in the 1970s and 1980s: West Yorkshire women's groups and their impact on women's lives. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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This thesis considers feminist consciousness-raising in the 1970s and 1980s in West Yorkshire, England. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the women's movement. My analysis is based on data collected from interviews with 20 women who were involved in women's groups in West Yorkshire during this period. The political dimensions of women's experiences were articulated through the women's movement slogan (first documented by Hanisch, 1970). "the personal is political". This statement is emblematic of how c-r changed women's understandings of themselves and their collective situation. This thesis interrogates some of the dominant stories that have been told about consciousness-raising in literature from and about the women's movement. As well, I demonstrate that transformations occurred within these collective contexts, through the reshaping of women's relationships with ideas, with each other, and with themselves. Through exploring the groups' theorising practices, I demonstrate that women engaged intellectually in ways that shifted their relationship to the realm of ideas. I also argue that friendships formed in these contexts supported subversive ways of being at this time. Opposing the tendency to frame the effects of social movements in terms of benefits to future generations, I argue that women's groups effected personal-political changes in the lives of the women who participated in them. I suggest that, by describing changes in the feminist movement in ways that take account of the life course of participants in the movement. it is possible to avoid overly emphasising the input of future generations. Ultimately, the thesis coiidences the personal-political effects of West Yorkshire women's groups on participants' lives in a way that shows c-r to be compatible with shifts in feminist thought after the influence of poststructuralism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.521477
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2011 12:24
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1948

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