Critical Waves: Exploring Feminist Identity, Discourse and Praxis in Western Feminism

Evans, Elizabeth and Chamberlain, Prudence. 2014. Critical Waves: Exploring Feminist Identity, Discourse and Praxis in Western Feminism. Social Movement Studies, 14(4), pp. 396-409. ISSN 1474-2837 [Article]

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Feminist scholars frequently question the wave narrative, fearing the way in which it constructs generational divides and suggests periods of inactivity, whilst others have found it a useful way of understanding the chronological and ideological development of feminism. This article seeks to avoid rehashing well-rehearsed debates concerning the pros and cons of the narrative, instead seeking to emphasise the importance of engaging with the themes of continuity, inclusivity and multiplicity by exploring identity, discourse and praxis through the wave metaphor. It does this by drawing upon analysis of key feminist writings and empirical research undertaken with feminist activists in the UK. This article stresses how the coterminous existence of second, third and fourth wave have changed the nature of the wave narrative in such a way as to require a different critical approach, one that recognises the power of the discourse and the pragmatic implications of its use.

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29 August 2014Accepted

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06 Oct 2016 15:35

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30 Jun 2017 10:32

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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