Friday, June 17, 2011

Turk on NOW and Liberal Feminism in JAH

Readers may have missed an interesting article, "Out of the Revolution, Into the Mainstream: Employment Activism in the NOW Sears Campaign and the Growing Pains of Liberal Feminism," published by Katherine Turk (Chicago--History, Ph.D. candidate), in the Journal of American History,Vol. 97, No. 2 (Sept. 2010). The abstract follows.

Katherine Turk examines transformations in the structure, tactics, and objectives of the most prominent second-wave feminist organization, the National Organization for Women (now). Her analysis of the NOW employment rights campaign against Sears, Roebuck, and Company, which was conceived and driven by the nascent Chicago chapter in the early 1970s and abandoned by a changing national organization several years later, reveals that as liberal feminism grew into a nationally consistent movement, early commitments to local improvisation and socioeconomic justice were lost. Even in the heyday of progressive postwar politics, Turk argues, ideological struggles among activists, rather than an impending conservative backlash, rendered feminism unable to counter either the New Right or the mass deskilling that women continue to face in the burgeoning low-wage service sector.

The full article is available online here to OAH members.


Gautham Rao said...

Katherine Turk's fine paper was also a co-winner of the Preyer Award at last year's ASLH.


Dan Ernst said...

And she'll be a Jerome Hall Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow at Indiana Law in the year ahead:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks