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ERIC Number: EJ950807
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
The Politics and Possibilities of Activism in Contemporary Feminist Psychologies
Liebert, Rachel; Leve, Michelle; Hui, Amber
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v35 n4 p697-704 Dec 2011
The authors facilitated a structured discussion on transgenerational activism at the 2011 meeting of the Association of Women in Psychology (AWP). Their discussion there had been sparked by an essay recently published by "Harpers" magazine in which Susan Faludi (2010) characterized a generational strife among the feminist "waves." Still catalyzed in part by Faludi's problematizing of the feminist field, in this commentary the authors build on their discussion at AWP to showcase their collective experiences, and they contemplate the necessities, dilemmas, and possibilities of current-day "scholar-activism." In doing so, they also explore the tense and oft estranged relations between and among feminist scholars and activists; listening in particular for Gayatri Spivak's (1988) "unsaid ideological formulations." Overall, the authors argue that the (historically) present gap between activism and the academy is politically constructed, convenient, and limiting, while also offering some productive tensions through which to think and do feminist psychologies under contemporary sociopolitical and intellectual conditions. These tensions, or dilemmas, are characterized herein as: (1) Complicity--Simplicity; (2) Colonizing--Patronizing; and (3) Imperialism--Elitism. The authors therefore hope to disrupt polarizing representations of the different feminist waves as "either" Activist "or" Theory--believing in the rich histories and possibilities of both, and thereby joining with Donna Haraway (1991) in arguing for "pleasure in the confusion of boundaries" as well as for "responsibility in their construction."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A