Girl Talk: An Oral History Examination of Feminism's Impact on Three Generations of American Women

Date
2017
Authors
Maze, Angelica
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Worldwide access
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Abstract

Feminism has perhaps never been so present in American popular culture and social discourse as it is today, and yet there is a worrisome lack of clarity in examinations of its impact on the lives of individuals, its effectiveness in facilitating sociopolitical progress, and its relevancy in a pluralistic culture which tends to value the freedom of the individual over of that of the many. How, then, has the feminist movement historically influenced the lives of American women and discourse about gender equality, and what does that influence look like on an individual level? Through the use of oral history and feminist theory, I examine three generations of women in my family and the impact feminism has had on their lives, focusing on their formative adolescent years. In doing so, I trace the evolution of the feminist movement from the midsixties to the present and reveal the ways in which class, race, culture, and politics have interacted with feminist discourse and the impact this has had on the formation of three remarkable women.

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Keywords
Feminism., Adolescent Girls., Oral History.
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