This book is the first to ask whether there is a specifically European dimension to certain major issues in Women's Studies. It strives to create a synergetic debate among different disciplines and cultural traditions in Europe, and, in doing so, fills some gaps in our knowledge about women and enriches debates hitherto dominated by Anglo-American influences.
Among the new areas of enquiry opened up in this book by the specificities of European Women's Studies are:
• The fact that Europe has repeatedly experienced warfare on its own territory which has impacted significantly on women. Hence the focus in this volume on women and militarism, and on ethnic cleansing as an attack on the family.
• The abidingly problematic relationship between feminism and anti-semitism, and issues of migration and 'whiteness' in a context where racism reflects the colonial histories of particular European countries.
• The importance of passion and the emotions, as well as psychoanalytical theory, for politics particularly in Southern and Eastern European countries.
• Current problems facing Europe, including the decline of the welfare state, the phenomenon of the 'single' woman, and the relationship between women's rights and human rights.
• The diverse faces of feminist movements in particular European countries.
Reading feminism from a European perspective will enable readers to reflect upon the ways in which changes in political, social and cultural positions and practices over the past century in Europe have impacted on feminist thinking and theorizing. The volume raises important issues about the transfer of feminist concepts across cultures and languages. And to English-speaking audiences the volume also offers fresh viewpoints on some of the key debates in Women's Studies.
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About the Author
Gabriele Griffin is professor of women’s studies at the University of York.