Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader / Edition 1

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As the largest political constituency in the United States, women present a radical challenge to the foundations of our political system. The integration of women into political life fundamentally changes the nature of American politics, necessitating a reassessment of the definition of politics, the nature of political action and the purpose of public life.

Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader redefines the field of women and politics. By displacing the experiences of white, middle and upper class elite women as central, this volume brings to light the lives and actions of poor and working class women, women of color, and others defined as marginal. Covering topics as diverse as community organizing by South Asian women in New York, the governing styles of Chicana/Latina elected officials in California, the labor struggles of working-class women in Tennessee, the participation pattern of poor African-American women in Ohio, and the challenge of reproductive and sexual rights in international feminist politics, each essay provides a new and more expansive way to think about politics.

Contributors representing a wide range of professions including political science, sociology, history, law, grassroots organizing and cultural work challenge us to expand the range of experiences and acts considered political. Combining classic essays by renowned figures with groundbreaking work by a new generation of scholars, the publication of Women Transforming Politics will change forever the study of politics in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of 33 articles contains pieces by activists as well as work by scholars in economics, political science, history, sociology, and African American, Asian American, American, and women's studies. The essays, focusing on U.S. women, attempt to look beyond simplistic "gender gap" analysis by taking an expansive view of political activity and by emphasizing the experiences of marginalized groups. We find papers on Mexican migrant workers, Chinese women garment workers, Chicana/Latina elected officials in California, black women in state legislatures, disabled women, gay women, rural women, Native American women, and the black urban underclass. The editorswho teach at Yale University, San Diego State University, and Hunter Collegehave arranged the papers in five sections, although the organization is not completely clear. As with most collections, the articles vary in sophistication, utility, and approach. The book's likeliest use will be in academic courses in women's studies and political science, where its breadth will be particularly welcome.Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
From the Publisher

"This exciting collection not only documents the varied organizing experiences of women in American politics, it provides original and provocative analyses of the challenge owmen present to mainstream ideas of political representation, the role of the state, and the nature of power. The scope and depth of this volume are remarkable, and the prose lucid enought to make this bookd widely accessible. A must-read for all interested in women's political empowerment."

-Urvashi Vaid,author of Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation

"This innovative book illustrates both the complexity of women's activism and how that activism must transform our understanding of politics. It is an invaluable resource for the courses in U.S. politics and political participation that, at the same time, introduces the work of exciting young scholars."

-Martha Ackelsberg,Smith College

"Expanding the boundaries of conventional political studies, Women Transforming Politics provides perspectives and analyses which are vital for a truly democratic society."

-Joy James,author of Resisting State Violence and Transcending the Talented Tenth

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814715581
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 612
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 1.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Cohen is Assistant Professor of Political Science and African and African American Studies at Yale University

Kathleen B. Jones is Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and Professor of Women's Studies at San Diego State University, and author of Compassionate Authority.

Joan C. Tronto is Coordinator of Women's Studies and Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, and author of Mo

Joan C. Tronto is Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (Routledge).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Women Transforming U.S. Politics: Sites of Power/Resistance 1
1 Women of Color in the Eighties: A Profile Based on Census Data 15
2 "Working Men" and "Dependent Wives": Gender, "Race," and the Regulation of Migration from Mexico 47
3 On the Marriage Question 62
4 American Sweatshops 1980s Style: Chinese Women Garment Workers 84
5 Women, Work, and the Politics of Fetal Rights 94
6 The Wage Effects of Sexual Orientation Discrimination 107
7 Fighting the Violence against Our Sisters: Prosecution of Pregnant Women and the Coercive Use of Norplant 123
8 Cultural Survival and Contemporary American Indian Women in the City 136
9 Policing the Black Woman's Body in an Urban Context 151
10 Fade to White: Racial Politics and the Troubled Reign of Vanessa Williams 167
11 Education, Cultural Rights, and Citizenship 187
12 Exemplars of Indigenism: Native North American Women for De/Colonization and Liberation 205
13 Latina Women and Political Consciousness: La Chispa Que Prende 223
14 Ritual and Sacrifice at Tailhook '91: A Documentary Exhibition and Political Action 238
15 No Cultural Icon: Marisela Norte 256
16 Feminisms of the Diaspora Both Local and Global: The Politics of South Asian Women against Domestic Violence 269
17 The Marginalized Uses of Power and Identity: Lesbians' Participation in Breast Cancer and AIDS Activism 284
18 Winning Action for Gender Equity: A Plan for Organizing Communities of Color 302
19 Transforming Democracy: Rural Women and Labor Resistance 324
20 Negotiating and Transforming the Public Sphere: African American Political Life in the Transition from Slavery to Freedom 343
21 From Three-Fifths to Zero: Implications of the Constitution for African American Women, 1787-1870 377
22 Assimilating or Coloring Participation? Gender, Race, and Democratic Political Participation 387
23 Gender, Participation, and the Black Urban Underclass 398
24 Breaking Barriers to Representation: Chicana/Latina Elected Officials in California 412
25 Relative Privilege? Reconsidering White Women's Participation in Municipal Politics 435
26 Election Systems and the Representation of Black Women in American State Legislatures 447
27 Nothing Distant about It: Women's Liberation and Sixties Radicalism 456
28 Organizational Mobilizations, Institutional Access, and Institutional Change 477
29 Crime and Justice: Paradoxes for Theory and Action 499
30 Smashing Icons: Disabled Women and the Disability and Women's Movements 519
31 Presenting the Blue Goddess: Toward a National Pan-Asian Feminist Agenda 541
32 Beyond Racism and Misogyny: Black Feminism and 2 Live Crew 549
33 Spiraling Discourses of Reproductive and Sexual Rights: A Post-Beijing Assessment of International Feminist Politics 569
Contributors 589
Permissions 593
Index 595
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