Identity Politics in the Women's Movement

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In recent years, identity has come to be seen as a process rather than a fact or deterministic force. Yet, recognizable identity traits continue to draw people together and provide them with a sense of empowering commonality. Although the plasticity afforded identity has freed up rigid definitions and guidelines for affiliation, some believe that nebulous demarcations of identity may deprive women of a solid position from which to effectively contest centers of power. Bringing together articles by well-known authors and theorists such as Audre Lourde, June Jordan, Daphne Patai, Barbara Smith, Marilyn Frye, Shane Phelan, Leila J. Rupp, Hazel Carby, and Adrienne Rich with lesser-known writers and scholars, this broad-based anthology ranges widely from personal narratives to empirical research. The book unpacks issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and age, contributing a melange of sharp, lively perspectives to current debate. In a postmodern era of feminism, how do women come to identify, organize and mobilize themselves within a complex global network of relationships? Identity Politics in the Women's Movement offers critical examination of the inescapable role of identity in academic and activist feminism and the opportunities, challenges and conflicts identity politics pose.