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From "Death of the Female" to "Life Itself": a socio-historic examination of FINRRAGE

De Saille, Stevienna Marie (2012) From "Death of the Female" to "Life Itself": a socio-historic examination of FINRRAGE. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Although questions about the production of knowledge are finally beginning to be asked within social movements studies, these tend to rely on a very vague definition of 'knowledge', obscuring activists' engagement with informal and formal research, as well as social forms of knowledge. This thesis employs an analytic framework in which social movements are theorised as producing a distinctive cognitive praxis, in order to examine the ways in which movements emerge, develop, and operationalise their knowledge in pursuit of their goals. In order to do this, I will create a contextualised case study of the Feminist International Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering (FINRRAGE), examining the ways it sought to develop a knowledge project around new reproductive technologies and present itself as a network of credible knowers. Beginning as a reaction to a 1984 conference panel on new reproductive technology entitled 'Death of the Female', in its strongest phase (1984-1997) FINRRAGE comprised over a thousand women in thirty-seven countries. Although identified as an instance of radical opposition, its strategy relied upon knowledge generation, rather than protest. Employing a textual analysis of archival documents, published writings and lifecourse interviews with an international selection of twenty-four women, the thesis explores the processes by which the network pursued a project of creating an evidence-based position of resistance to the development of reproductive and genetic technologies through empirical research, publication, and continuous negotiation between women from very different social contexts. As such, the study also provides an opportunity to (re)consider feminist engagement with a specific area of technology over an historical period. It is hoped that the result will be a contribution to the academic literature on the development of collective knowledge and expertise for both social movements theory and science and technology studies, as well as to feminist history and theory.

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)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 11:14
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3403

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