Millennial Activists and the Unfinished Gender Revolution
In 2014, after a young man murdered six students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then killed himself, the news provoked an eye-opening surge of feminist activism. Fueled by the wide circulation of the killer’s hateful manifesto and his desire to exact “revenge” upon young women, feminists online and offline around the world clamored for a halt to such acts of misogyny. Despite the widespread belief that feminism is out-of-style or dead, this mobilization of young women fighting against gender oppression was overwhelming.
In Finding Feminism, Alison Dahl Crossley analyzes feminist activists at three different U.S. colleges, revealing that feminism is alive on campuses, but is complex, nuanced, and context-dependent. Young feminists are carrying the torch of the movement, despite a climate that is not always receptive to their claims. These feminists are engaged in social justice organizing in unexpected contexts and spaces, such as multicultural sororities, student government, and online.
Sharing personal stories of their everyday experiences with inequality, the young women in Finding Feminism employ both traditional and innovative feminist tactics. They use the Internet and social media as a tool for their activism—what Alison Dahl Crossley calls ‘Facebook Feminism.’ The university, as an institution, simultaneously aids and constrains their fight for gender equality.
Offering a stunning and hopeful portrait of today’s young feminist leaders, Finding Feminism provides insight into the contemporary feminist movement in America.
“Crossley’s waveless conception of college students’ feminism stands out as an important analytical achievement. It makes space for imagining colleges as institutional abeyance structures with dynamic developmental properties where college students find and (re)form their notions of feminist thought and action by participating in their collegiate environments.”
—American Journal of Sociology
"The voices of her interview subjects add much lively description about life as a young feminist at these schools."
"Finding Feminism embraces queer women and argues that feminism does not occur in waves . . . Crossley’s concept of waveless feminism very well may help us move beyond the stalled gender revolution."
"Starting with a brief look at some of the facets that make up modern feminism, the book delves into what feminism is to millenials...[A]n enjoyable read."
"Finally, we have a book that takes an inside look at the importance of feminism to today’s college women. Drawing on the stories of college women’s participation in feminist activism in three different regions of the U.S., Finding Feminism shatters the popular myth that feminism is no longer a significant force in the lives of younger women. Impeccably researched, analytically astute, and provocatively written, Crossley’s book paints a rich portrait of the myriad forms of feminist activism that college women are using to transform identities, communities, and the gender codes of society. Its findings provide insight into current state of feminism and the social movement processes that explain its persistence."
—Verta Taylor, coauthor of Survival in the Doldrums and the Oxford Handbook of Women’s Activism
"Dire pronouncements declaring the 'death of feminism' or the 'stalled gender revolution' are popular fare these days. But what these pronouncements almost always lack is systematic data in support of the claim.That's what makes Finding Feminism such a welcome, and unique, contribution to the literature.Based on extensive survey and interview data, Crossley has given us an invaluable and nuanced portrait of the varieties of feminism to be found on today's college campuses."
—Doug McAdam, author of Deeply Divided: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Postwar America
“Welcome to waveless feminism! As Crossley’s study of campus feminism suggests, the river is a better metaphor for how women’s movement activism shifts course and encounters turbulence as it moves through historically changing contexts. This book provides examples of innovation and organization that in a rapidly changed political scene will remain timely and helpful.”
—Myra Marx Ferree, author of Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective
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