University of Maryland
Sociology 432: Social Movements

Sociology 432: Controversy and Coalition

The New Feminist Movement Across Four Decades of Change

Myra Marx Feree Myra Marx Ferree and Beth B. Hess

Origins: chapters 1, 2, and 3.1 (pages 1-56)

We want to ask whether the analysis we (and Doug McAdam) developed for the civil rights movement can help us understand the origins of the feminist movement. Again, we want to ask a similar question: Why did the feminist movement develop in the late 1960s and 1970s (and not earlier or later)?

Of course, McAdam's main reasons, the growth of the black church, of black colleges, and of the NAACP are not direct reasons for the growth of the feminist movement. But are the causes that Ferree and Hess describe theoretically similar in some way? In particular, does a "resource mobilization" perspective help us understand the origins of the feminist movement? That is, do women in the 1970s have access to resources that make it easier to organize a protest movement?

First, make a list of all the changes that Ferree and Hess describe as origins of the feminist movement. For each, understand how this change made a feminist movement more likely.

Second, for each cause in the list, does it fit well any of the four causal perspectives we have outlined?

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Last updated September 20, 2005
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