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Rethinking Feminist Organizations

Patricia Yancey Martin
Gender and Society
Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 182-206
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/189611
Page Count: 25
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Rethinking Feminist Organizations
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Abstract

This article analyzes feminist organizations as a species of social movement organization. It identifies 10 dimensions for comparing feminist and nonfeminist organizations or for deriving types of feminist organizations and analyzing them. The dimensions are feminist ideology, feminist values, feminist goals, feminist outcomes (for members and society), founding circumstances, structure, practice, members and membership, scope and scale, and external relations (legal-corporate status, autonomy, funding, and network linkages). I argue that many scholars judge feminist organizations against an ideal type that is largely unattainable and that excessive attention has been paid to the issue of bureaucracy versus collectivism to the neglect of other organizational qualities. The varieties of ideology, form, and strategy that feminist organizations embody should be analyzed in relation to outcomes for women, the women's movement, and society. As has recently begun to occur, feminist scholars are encouraged to claim the topic of feminist organizations for themselves.

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