Beyond the Boundaries: Exploring Diversity within Contemporary Feminist Thought

Rivers, Nicola (2014) Beyond the Boundaries: Exploring Diversity within Contemporary Feminist Thought. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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At a time of heightened awareness and public interest, post-9/11, with increased concerns surrounding the ‘other’ and pronouncements of the ‘death of multiculturalism,’ this thesis stresses the renewed relevance of cross-cultural feminist discussions. I examine a broad range of sources to show how the rhetoric of feminism is being co-opted to support the promotion of an ‘us’ and ‘them’ perspective, particularly in the media. By returning to well established feminist debates on difference, and the importance of adopting an intersectional position in order to avoid suggesting a singular experience of oppression based solely on gender, I argue for an intergenerational approach to current issues affecting feminism as we move into the fourth wave. Providing an original contribution, both by applying existing theory to highly contemporary debates, and by exploring the possibilities (and pitfalls) offered by online media to fourth wave feminism, I claim that the co-opting of a feminist position in an attempt to shore up national identity and discredit multiculturalism, has, in fact, created a resurgence of interest in feminism, but without a foundational understanding. Taking the opportunity provided by this resurgence of interest to critically examine Western feminism through current debates surrounding FGC, ‘honour’-based violence and veiling, offers a lens through which to explore assumptions of the ‘post-feminist’ West, and emphasize the renewed importance of engaging with the ‘other’ in feminist discussions. Globalization and multiculturalism, as well as the global communities forged on the internet, increasingly offer ‘insider voices’ whilst simultaneously questioning the myth of a pure ‘other,’ or a universal feminism. By looking back on previous debates and ‘waves,’ this thesis advocates the need to think across the boundaries of generations, as well as cultures, suggesting that an intergenerational and cross-cultural approach is key to moving discussions forward with the arrival of feminism’s fourth wave.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cross cultural feminism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2015 16:00
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:56

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