Monday, December 20, 2010

Life Cycle of Pride Movements

I interested to know if there is some kind of a life cycle that has been described for "pride" movements. For example, when I was a young woman, the feminist movement was just getting off the ground and was relatively powerful. Although not all women considered themselves to be feminists, those who did were very vocal and focused, with a fairly clear agenda.

But now, I don't hear ANY young women describing themselves as feminists, although they all enjoy the benefits that the early feminists won for them. It seems obvious to me that there was a period where the notion of feminism was rising and gather steam, then a period when it had enough strength as a movement to effect changes, and then a period of decline, during which most of the societal changes persisted, but no new changes (such as passing the ERA) were able to be accomplished. Does this process actually exist, and can it be used to describe other "pride" movements?

If such a process exists, those of us who are supporters of particular social changes and their associated pride movements might modify our strategies based on where the movement was in the life cycle.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Your question concerns identitarian politics, liberal humanism/feminism and liberationist movements (which are based upon a specific notion of power/agency, i.e. hiearchical) In terms of "life cycle," we're experiencing a postmodern (or post-colonial) period and we're in the Third Wave of feminism (which began in the 1980s). Unlike the Second Wave, the Third Wave assumes that we're fluid, fractured, contradictory subjects (the Cartesian notion of the "I" no longer holds). The Third Wave embraces and celebrates contradictions, multiple subjectivities, differences, fluidity, change, and uncertainty. It also defines "power" and individual agency in a different way (relational).

Clare Dygert said...

Anonymous: Thanks for your comment -- obviously I have no education in this. Do all similar movements experience this Third Wave event? or is this peculiar to feminism? I can see it in the gay pride movement. But what about Black pride? Deaf pride? Any ideas?

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