Reclaiming the Feminist Vision

Consciousness-Raising and Small Group Practice


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About the Book

It’s called consciousness-raising (CR). Asking questions about our experiences and sharing insights and analyses with others can be the basis for informed activism for positive social change. CR provided the entry point for feminists who shaped the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, and is now being revitalized across class, race and geography in face-to-face groups and on the internet. Reclaiming the Feminist Vision traces the origins, principles and impact of consciousness-raising; reveals how the process migrated to other settings, sometimes maintaining the original political intent and sometimes diluting it. The book calls for the renewal of the practice to help feminists regain their voices and their power in shaping social movement history.

About the Author(s)

Janet L. Freedman is a resident scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the former dean of library services and a professor emerita at University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth where she also served as director of the Women’s Studies Program. She lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Janet L. Freedman

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7212-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1494-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
I: Consciousness-Raising: The Mother Lode  11
II: Right Livelihood: Working as a Feminist  32
III: Only Connect: Technology, Consciousness-Raising and Feminist Activism  52
IV: I and We: Consciousness-Raising, Mutual Aid and Participatory Democracy  78
V: Consciousness-Raising in the Classroom and Beyond  104
VI: Spirited Women  131
VII: Consciousness-Raising Through the Lifespan  156
Conclusion: Keep On Keeping On  182
Chapter Notes  187
Bibliography  198
Index  206

Book Reviews & Awards

“The way Freedman weaves together her own consciousness-raising experiences with other women’s memories of consciousness-raising is one of the most compelling aspects of this work…this meshing of research and personal enthusiasm gives the book a special magic. Consciousness-raising is very much alive today. Freedman’s work will be an excellent resource for those carrying it forward”—Feminist Collections.