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March 30 , 2008

Varieties of Feminism

German Gender Politics in Global Perspective


Varieties of Feminism investigates the development of German feminism by contrasting it with women's movements that arise in countries, like the United States, committed to liberalism. With both conservative Christian and social democratic principles framing the feminist discourses and movement goals, which in turn shape public policy gains, Germany provides a tantalizing case study of gender politics done differently.

The German feminist trajectory reflects new political opportunities created first by national reunification and later, by European Union integration, as well as by historically established assumptions about social justice, family values, and state responsibility for the common good. Tracing the opportunities, constraints, and conflicts generated by using class struggle as the framework for gender mobilization—juxtaposing this with the liberal tradition where gender and race are more typically framed as similar—Ferree reveals how German feminists developed strategies and movement priorities quite different from those in the United States.

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