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Feminists in Politics


Author: Alice S. Rossi

Publisher: Academic Press

Publish Date: 28th January 1982

ISBN-13: 9781483265520

Pages: 440

Language: English



Feminists in Politics: A Panel Analysis of the First National Women’s Conference provides a systematic study of the impact of the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, Texas, in November 1977, on the participants. It traces the past political activities of the conference participants; what they actually did during the conference; the impact of the conference on their commitment to political action in the future; and their aspirations for holding elected office in American politics or in organizations associated with the feminist movement.The volume begins by placing the IWY Commission and the study of the conference in the context of feminist history—both the long-term history that reaches back to Seneca Falls in 1848 and the short-term history of more recent post-1965 political developments. Subsequent chapters deal with design, variable measurement, and response pattern analysis; political organization and group formation; the differences between Pro-Plan and Anti-Plan activists at the conference; and the past political development of the delegates and their political aspirations. This impact analysis will be of interest to political scientists and sociologists, as well as to political activists concerned with the efficacy of alternative action strategies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Preface Acknowledgments 1 The National Conference in Historical Perspective Introduction Long-Term Historical Context The Third Wave of Feminism: 1961-1981 The National IWY Commission and the National Women’s Conference Research on the National Women’s Conference Dual Roles as Researcher and IWY Commissioner Organization of the Book 2 Whom Did We Miss? Response Pattern Analysis Introduction The Population: Target and Attainment Data and Coding of Bioforms Response Analysis: Elected Delegates and Alternates Response Analysis: Ford and Carter Commissioners Response Analysis: Secretariat Staff Summary 3 Design and Measurement Introduction Major Components of the Research Design Predictor Variables Demographic and Status Variables Overall Design Profile of the Sample Political Experience Feminist Beliefs Measuring the Houston Experience Political Plans 4 Conference Organization and Political Behavior Introduction Organizational Categories at the Conference Socioeconomic Characteristics Political Characteristics Organizational Membership Political Activity Role in Houston Expected versus Actual Leadership Role Network Formation Conclusion 5 The State Delegation: Formation and Impact Introduction Links between State Coordinating Committees and State Delegations Organizational Membership and Delegate Role Expectations Structural Characteristics of Delegations Actual Roles Played in Houston Development of Personal Familiarity with Home-State Delegates Network Formation in Houston Conclusion 6 The Structures of Affect and Belief Introduction Belief Structure Determinants of Belief Structure Affect Structure Determinants of Affect Structure Belief and Affect Consistency Consensus and Constraint: NOW versus the League of Women Voters Consensus and Constraint: Pro-Plan versus Anti-Plan Activists Conclusion 7 Paths to Political Competence and Action Introduction The Analysis Model Leadership at the Conference Political Competence Holding Office Mainstream versus Movement Political Activity Organizational Membership Family Connections and Political Activity Paths to Political Activism: an Overview 8 Looking Ahead: Political Aspirations and Action Introduction Aspiration Measurement Aspiration Typology Determinants of Political Aspirations Impact of the Conference on Political Aspirations Commitment to Implementation of Conference Resolutions Conclusion 9 Summary of Findings and Their Political Implications Introduction Unique Features of the Study Major Findings Appendix A The Houston National Women’s Conference Study October Survey (1977) February Survey (1978) Appendix B Alphabetical List of Indices, Operational Definitions, and Location in Surveys Appendix C Resolutions Endorsed by National Women’s Conference 1. Arts and Humanities 2. Battered Women 3. Business 4. Child Abuse 5. Child Care 6. Credit 7. Disabled Women 8. Education 9. Elective and Appointive Office 10. Employment 11. Equal Rights Amendment 12. Health 13. Homemakers 14. Insurance 15. International Affairs 16. Media 17. Minority Women 18. Offenders 19. Older Women 20. Rape 21. Reproductive Freedom 22. Rural Women 23. Sexual Preference 24. Statistics 25. Women, Welfare, and Poverty References