What do you see as the most significant or important issue or aspect of these social relations for women today, or our world as we understand it moving forward? Why? What do you see as the principal causal factor, or factors?  How or why? Do you see a way forward?

  • Feminism looks very different within other societies. This needs to be accepted my mainstream western feminist that (most of the time unknowingly) push their own views and narrative and setting back other feminist movements
  • Transnational Feminism
  • Yes to Intersectionality…BUT how should it be applied to help non-westren feminist movements?


Kantola, J. (2010 [2006]) Gender and the State: Theories & Debates. Krook & Childs, 299-304.

  1. 312

Baldez, L. (2010 [2003]) Women’s Movements and Democratic Transition in Chile, Brazil, East German, and Poland. Krook & Childs, 37-45.


  • By comparing Chile, Brazil, East Germany, and Poland, Baldez offers a perspective on the nexus between women‟s movements and democratization. The author argues that women have tended to disregard individual differences within a movement in favor of unity based on their gender identity. Though general in theory, Baldez delves deeper into the argument by detailing each case study, which is helpful in defending the original thesis. The article is effective at providing a larger world-view of women and democratization without diminishing the experience in the individual country. Unfortunately, the argument is proven right only temporarily, as Baldez finds. An honest analysis reveals that while gender can unify initially, most women‟s movements separate into disparate groups based on conflicting interests.
  • Baldez contends that the success of women’s mobilization in East Germany, Brazil, and Chile led to better outcomes for women in comparison to Poland, where women were less successful.

Mohanty, C. (2013) Transnational Feminist Crossings: On Neoliberalism and Radical Critique. Signs 38(4) Intersectionality Theorizing Power, Empowering Theory, 967-991

Chandra Mohanty addresses the central question of how the neoliberalization of the academy affects feminist scholarship (2013). What is unique about Mohanty’s intervention is that she highlights the role of postmodern scholarship and the ways in which it distracts from structural forms of oppression. Mohanty sets out to address the dismissal of systemic analysis on the grounds that it cannot address internal conflicts within systems, and argues that “this particular postmodernist position converges with the proliferation of depoliticized multiplicities that is a hallmark of neoliberal intellectual landscapes,” (Ibid, 968). Postmodern scholarship has long been averse to grand narratives or a focus on structural analyses of power, seeing them as essentialist and reductionist. Mohanty writes of “the familiar postmodernist argument where ‘differences

within’ always trump critical analyses of dominant discourses, leading to a refusal to identify the existence of a hegemonic feminism that has systematic effects on marginalized communities,” (983). However, as Mohanty points out, by neglecting the structural or the universal, it becomes difficult to address questions of imperialism, national liberation, and capitalism. It has become commonplace to hear calls to not generalize, essentialize, or create binaries between East and West (for example). These calls perform a call to complexity and to abandon over-simplification. However, this has the parallel effect of emphasizing “internal differences” over hegemonic structures.

It is useful to bring together the critiques made by Mohanty about feminist studies in general with the critiques made by Bilge, Carbin, and Edenheim about intersectionality, in particular. All of these pieces focus on neoliberalism as a key factor in explaining the de-radicalizing of feminist scholarship. What is notable about Mohanty’s piece is that it brings in postmodernism as another part of the story: postmodernism, as an approach tied to the neoliberalization of the academy, is also responsible for this de-radicalizing, because it has taken attention (and validity) away from more structural understandings of oppression. This raises the question of how postmodernism and its increasing popularity have affected intersectionality, and vice versa.

The context of the academy has been central to diluting intersectionality. As Mohanty writes, postmodern skepticism of intersectionality “converts what originated as a compelling theory of the interwoven structures and inequities of power to an inert theory of identity that emphasizes difference over commonality, coalition, and contestation,” (2013, 974). This conversion is key, as it means we are back to identity politics minus power relations.

Karen Beckwith (2010) Beyond Compare? Women’s Movements in Comparative Perspective Krook & Childs, 29-36.


Strolovitch, D.Z (2010 [2006]) Do Interest Groups Represent the Disadvantaged? Advocacy at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender. Krook & Childs, 55-62.


– Strolovitch (2006) focusses on sub-groups within organizations advocating on behalf of the disadvantaged, she further problematizes this, when she finds that in cases where disadvantaged have organized a voice such as in the National Organization for Women, these mainly focus on issues of concern to relatively privileged constituents of the group.

–  Strolovitch highlights that interest groups often prioritize the interests of their most advantaged members, such as male rather than female racial minorities, or affluent rather than poor women.

– interest groups might still favour stronger members over weaker or deprived members in setting organizational goals.

– argued that the value of intersectionality is that it allows for one to study the least advantaged within uniaxial approaches. Research and advocacy tends to focus on members of the group that are by their nature better advantaged than other members of the group; women’s groups tend to focus on issues that impact white women more than they impact black women.

Chappell, L. (2010 [2000]) Interacting with the State: Feminist Strategies and Political Opportunities. Krook & Childs, 313-318.


Dahlerup, D. & Freidenvall, L. (2010 [2005]) Quotas as a “Fast Track” _to Equal Representation for women: Why Scandinavia is no Longer the Model. Krook & Childs, 175-184.