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Women’s Studies Quarterly 

About: Women’s Studies Quarterly is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Feminism & Power (social and political). Over the lifetime, 272 publications have been published receiving 4218 citations.

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Journal Article
TL;DR: Hortense Spillers' "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" essay as discussed by the authors was one of the seminal works in the history of black women's writing, and it has had a profound impact on women's work.
Abstract: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2006 SE Thank you, Hortense, for making time to talk with us. Jennifer and I are really grateful that the three of you came out on a Saturday evening. Can we begin with Farah and Saidiya talking about how "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" has influenced your work, and then maybe Hortense can begin with discussing how you teach or talk about it. FG There are times when I've specifically gone to the essay, knowing that there's something in "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" that will be helpful and useful to me, and then there are times later on I realize without even knowing it consciously, the article has informed and influenced things that I have done. I wrote this essay called "Textual Healing" and I started out by using your sources, by asking, where did she get that information?! How did she even know to go these particular sources? For so many of us, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" was the first time we even thought about some of the things that you cited. When I wrote that essay, which is really about what we call neoslave narratives now, trying to think about the history that these women writers were responding to, the frame that I was beginning to understand, that history was set up for me by "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe." I was writing a review essay for Signs on black feminism in the academy, and as I began to talk about Hortense Spillers, I realized that the work of so many people of my generation has been formed in relationship to this essay. I was focusing on literary critics-Sharon Holland, Elizabeth Alexander, Fred Moten, Lindon Barrett, all of us-and I thought how I literally could not think of another essay, I don't know-maybe "The Souls of Black Folk?"-I really couldn't think of another essay that had that kind of impact on a generation. The essay has profoundly informed my work and the work of the people with whom I consider myself in dialogue. SH Indebtedness is the word that comes to mind that I would use to describe my relation to Hortense's work. That's how I would summarize it. I mean I am still struggling with the problematic terms that "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" has generated, I am still thinking through Hortense's prism. I do have a question about how feminism as a critique or a rubric explains or fails to explain your own critical intervention. It's interesting in that the first paragraph of the essay opens with all the names of the marked woman, but in the second paragraph it's the problem of the color line that explains the territory in which that naming takes place. I'd like to think about your own project's relationship to feminism. I think it has a critical relationship to that project but I don't think that your work can be encompassed by the feminist project. HS You know, I have always been very interested and humbled by people's response to "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe." What I was trying to do when I wrote that essay many years ago was to find a vocabulary that would make it possible, and not all by myself, to make a contribution to a larger project. I was looking for my generation of black women who were so active in other ways, to open a conversation with feminists. Because my idea about where we found ourselves in the late 1970s and the mid-1980s, was that we were really out of the conversation that we had, in some ways, historically initiated. In other words, the women's movement and the black movement have always been in tandem, but what I saw happening was black people being treated as a kind of raw material. That the history of black people was something you could use as a note of inspiration but it was never anything that had anything to do with you-you could never use it to explain something in theoretical terms. There was no discourse that it generated, in terms of the mainstream academy that gave it a kind of recognition. And so my idea was to try to generate a discourse, or a vocabulary that would not just make it desirable, but would necessitate that black women be in the conversation. …

1,399 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the global and the intimate constitute one another and argue that they are discrete categories best understood as constitutive of one another, and they deploy arguments about the social construction of scale to demonstrate the essential role that scale as a concept played in feminist interventions in globalization discourse.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION Luisa lives in a rural region of Oaxaca, Mexico, where so many men had emigrated to the United States that by the 1990s her village came to be known locally as a village of women. Like most households in the town, Luisa's is characterized by absence. Her husband left to work in the service industry in urban upstate New York. Unlike other families, however, his has not received routine remittances. Over the years, Luisa has watched her neighbors enhance their homes with brick walls, concrete floors, and even second floors. She and her children, meanwhile, continue to sleep on mats on the dirt floor of her one-room adobe structure. U.S. remittances have enabled many daughters in the town to attend school and many mothers to stop the daily labor of making tortillas and selling them in local markets. Luisa, however, continues to work over the hot coma/, the roughness of her hands testimony to the toil of tortillamaking where the skin of neighbors' hands has been smoothed over with the flow of "global" capital. Luisa suspects that her husband's earnings now support a new family in New York while she struggles to feed, clothe, and maintain the health of her children (Mountz and Wright 1996). These intimacies inflect the global. Feminist scholars have made a number of important critiques of globalization (Kofman 1996; Marchand and Runyan 2000). Many of these contributions explore the relationship between "the local" and "the global." In this essay we review some of these contributions and argue that that the global and the intimate constitute one another. Feminist interventions question the disembodied masculinism of the former and interrogate the limits of local/global binaries, calling attention to the silenced, marginalized, and excluded. In so doing, they observe that the local is often essentialized (Roberts 2004), the domestic feminized (Domosh and Seager 2001), the discourses of globalization hypermasculinized (Nagar et al. 2002), and many forms of knowledge and social relations effaced. Feminists reclaim and analyze sites, voices, and ways of knowing the world epistemologically and methodologically that produce differences and disparities, among them gender and geographical location. They find these to be not only sites of knowing and being, but also sites of crossing, laboring, and living the global. They have thus worked scale in order to rework the global through their "grounded, feminist approach [which] starts from the lives of a variety of people with diverse relationships to globalization" (Nagar et al. 2002, 269). Scholars often write global and local onto social, economic, and political phenomena, thus dividing empirical realities into hierarchical frames (Freeman 2001). Those phenomena, categorized as macrolevel economic processes, weigh more heavily, the globalization backdrop to life's microlevel daily minutiae. For these reasons precisely, feminist scholars have argued that discourse on globalization is masculinist. Of course knowledges of the global and the local are epistcmological assertions to know the same world. We deploy arguments about the social construction of scale to demonstrate the essential role that scale as a concept has played in feminist interventions in globalization discourse. We do not collapse these scales (c.f. Marston et al. 2005), but instead maintain that they are discrete categories best understood as constitutive of one another. In order to develop this argument, we first review some of the ways that feminists have reclaimed the global through the intimate. The word intimate derives from the Latin intimare, "to impress or make familiar." How have feminist attempts to make sense of the familiar intersected with their critiques of masculinist efforts to render known the global? As we seek to answer this question, we conceptualize the intimate as embodied social relations that include mobility, emotion, materiality, belonging, alienation. …

210 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Astrid Henry's Not My Mother's Sister as discussed by the authors is an important intervention in the oft-cited conflict between second-and third-wave feminists in the United States.
Abstract: ASTRID HENRY'S NOT MY MOTHER'S SISTER: GENARATIONAL CONFLICT AND THIRD-WAVE FEMINISM, BLOOMINGTON: INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2004 DEVONEY LOOSER Not My Mother's Sister is an important intervention in the oft-cited conflict between second- and third-wave feminists in the United States Not merely another agenda or manifesto, Astrid Henry's book provides a striking historical and rhetorical analysis of feminist generational talk, past and present Henry convincingly argues that "the mother-daughter relationship is the central trope in depicting the relationship between the so-called second and third waves of US feminism" and shows that "this metaphor-or matrophor-has far-reaching implications for contemporary feminism" (2) In engaging, clear prose, Henry's book provides incisive analysis of the so-called feminist waves Henry's goal is to create opportunities for "a more expansive vision of generational dialogue and exchange" (15) In the book's introduction Henry summarizes her thesis and defends her use of the "often productive" generational metaphor, despite its "reductive" dangers (6) She thinks it is appropriate to use the metaphor precisely because of the cross-generational identifications and disidentifications she locates in feminists of the second and third waves Rather than judging these identifications as good or bad, Henry considers them "politically emboldening" to both waves-a label that helps her locate the ways in which mother-daughter talk provided an impetus for feminist activity, at least on the daughter side of the equation, in the 1970s and the 1990s Chapter 1, "Daughterhood Is Powerful," examines the emergence of the third wave, revisiting the arguments of Katie Roiphe, Rebecca Walker, Rene Denfeld, and Naomi Wolf, among others Here, as throughout most of the book, it is the "bad daughters," rather than the "betrayed mothers," whose words are given the most attention For readers knowledgeable about third-wave feminist texts, this chapter may traverse familiar ground, but it is impressive in its comprehensiveness Henry charts the ideologies, investments, and blind spots of the third wave, situating them against the Thomas-Hill hearings, which she sees as the watershed moment that prompted talk of a new feminist generation Chapter 2, "Finding Ourselves in the Past," offers the compelling thesis that the "second wave" (a term coined in 1968) created the monolithic designation "first wave" (1848-1920) in order to have something to honor "as a rich source of knowledge and guidance" (57) At the same time, "the [feminist] past was repudiated and viewed with disdain" (57) Calling this contradiction irreconcilable, Henry shows that it was "vital to the development of second-wave feminism" (57) Looking to the work of Shulamith Firestone, Germaine Greer, and others, Henry investigates how the "death-and-rebirth imagery that proliferated during this period may have been a way for second-wave feminists to imagine that they were giving birth to themselves"; this she calls a "metaphoric parthenogenesis" that "allowed them to evade the more complicated relationship to their mothers' generation of women, women's rights, and feminism" (71) Chapters 3, 4, and 5 examine generational feminist issues in more specific contexts In chapter 3, it is the so-called sex wars that come under scrutiny Henry demonstrates how many third-wave feminists caricature second-wavers as puritanical and antisex, in order to clear the terrain to see themselves as innovators Chapter 4 looks at lesbian feminist "foremothers" and queer "daughters" to unearth the surprising ways in which these groups also rely on familial metaphors Lillian Faderman's work comes in for particular attention, because she likens lesbian feminism to "mama" feeling abandoned, betrayed, and worried sick as her queer "daughters" are "running off with strange young men" (117) Henry gets a great deal of mileage out of this peculiar analogyperhaps too much …

112 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: A more nuanced analysis of the role of sports in young women's lives is needed as discussed by the authors, where sport can serve as a mechanism for building social networks and bringing girls into the public sphere, and by so doing begin to transform gender norms.
Abstract: We are witnessing the convergence of two important trends; the international women's health and rights community's appreciation of sports as a legitimate field of action and inquiry, and the interests of women's sports advocates to reach beyond their traditional scope to incorporate broader health and development objectives into their agenda. This convergence provides an opportune moment to reflect on the role sports play-or could be made to play-in creating safe spaces and building social assets for young women in the developing world. At the same time, it is important to disentangle the bundle of both substantiated and purported benefits of sports and to acknowledge their differential relevance and impact on girls' lives in diverse cultural and economic settings. Although there are many similarities, important differences between the developed and the developing world exist; thus a more nuanced analysis of the role of sports in young women's lives is needed. To date, much of the research linking participation in sports with various health and development outcomes has been carried out in the United States and other Western countries. The scientific literature documents the physical and mental health benefits of sport, most notably the relationship between sport and physical fitness; its contribution to the reduction of chronic disease; its links to enhancing mental health by reducing symptoms of stress and depression, and its general association with building self-confidence and self-efficacy (PCPFS 1997). More recently, sport has been viewed as a tool in community regeneration, social inclusion, and reconstruction efforts in postconflict situations. This last articulation is an interesting area that warrants study and analysis of its potential, but with explicit attention to gender. It is important to note that no similar data or large-scale research studies on any of the aforementioned topics exist in the developing world, thus comparable data sets are not available. Although there is evidence in support of the many hypotheses related to sport in Western contexts, none have been empirically tested in the developing world. Moreover, as important as these benefits are for girls and women in developed countries, their meaning and relevance in the developing world are less clear. For example, in much of the developing world young women are often very physically active by virtue of the heavy work burden they carry or distances they walk, and at the same time chronic diseases are not typically considered major public health problems in many developing countries. Aside from the newly emerging obesity phenomenon that is affecting predominately middle-class urban populations as they shift toward more Western patterns of consumption and dietary habits, physical fitness in and of itself has not been a convincing argument for sport in the developing world. The use of sport as a vehicle to pass various health messages has utility in many contexts, however the extent to which this method of information diffusion is more effective in changing any particular health behavior over other types of messaging strategies has not been well-documented. Suggestions that sports bolster self-esteem, while appealing, have not been adequately studied in developing countries. Definition and measurement of self-esteem constructs have been particularly problematic. Rather than self-esteem per se, research efforts have begun to focus on defining context-specific measures of self-efficacy and agency (Brady personal communication). What is perhaps much more fundamental, and potentially more powerful, has to do with access to and use of the public space and girls' and women's visibility in the public sphere. This paper will address the question of whether sport can serve as a mechanism for building social networks and bringing girls into the public sphere, and by so doing begin to transform gender norms. I will look specifically at what we know about adolescent girls' lives in the developing world and how within that context sport might be used as a tool to reconfigure the terms of their lives. …

102 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: For instance, this article argued that the traditional social distance between parents and their offspring is breaking down as adults sacrifice their traditional authority for closer, more intimate relationships with their children, arguing that the balance of obligations has shifted so that the responsibility is no longer on the child to be a dutiful son or daughter but on the parent(s) to optimize their child's opportunity to fulfill their potential mainly by providing appropriate material and social opportunities.
Abstract: INTIMACY AND GLOBALIZATION Intimacy is a specific sort of knowing, loving, and caring for a person (Jamieson 1989, 1). Growing up implicitly involves intimacy in terms of close association with one or more adults. Beyond our parents, significant others include all those who have a particular role in, and commitment to, shaping of the self (Berger and Luckmann 1966). Despite the importance of intimate relationships in people's lives-and as the building blocks of families, communities, and stable society-it is only relatively recently that intimacy and emotions have become topics of social science research (Jamieson 1989). Most disciplines have paid more attention to the study of public economic and political organization than they have to informal, private social relations (Roseneil and Budgeon 2004). Indeed some commentators suggest that the growing interest in emotions, psychoanalysis, and personal growth/development of the self, as well as in childhood and intergenerational relations, marks the beginning of a "private turn" within the social sciences (Bailey 2000). Both Giddens (1991) and Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (1995) claim that profound changes are occurring in the sphere of intimacy in the context of contemporary processes of individualization, detraditionalization, and increased self-reflexivity. In the transformation from industrial society to new modernity, traditional ideas and expectations about social relations are being reworked. The preordained path of school, paid work, courtship, marriage, and parenthood is now less clearly marked. Rather there has been a weakening of class ties, a decline in reliance on authorities such as the church, and a decoupling of some of the social behaviors and attitudes that used to be attached to marriage and family life (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 1995). Such that BeckGernsheim (2002,22) claims that "individual self fulfilment and achievement is the most powerful current in modern society." In this context Giddens (1992) argues that traditional forms of close personal relationships encumbered by kin and community obligations are being replaced by the pursuit of "pure relationships." These are relationships that are entered into for their own sake in the pursuit of happiness, and are sustained only as long as they are fulfilling. As such they are based on voluntary commitment, mutual trust, equality, and reflexivity. Individuals now have to work more self-consciously on who they are and what kind of relationship they want. Giddens links the emergence of pure relationships to the development of "plastic sexuality"-in which sex has been decoupled from reproduction. Relationships (sexual and family) are now less about rules and rituals and more about choice and risk, with the consequence that love and intimacy are both more important than ever but harder to achieve and maintain (Holland et al. 2003). For example, the greater importance placed on having a "good" marriage and the pursuit of individual pleasure, has produced higher divorce rates as individuals feel less obliged (e.g., by the church, marriage vows, community tradition, etc.) to stay in unsatisfactory relationships. Relationships between parents and children are also argued to be changing. In particular, the traditional social distance between parents and their offspring is alleged to be breaking down as adults sacrifice their traditional authority for closer, more intimate relationships with their children Qamieson and Toynbee 1990; Valentine 1997b). In an individualized culture, the balance of obligations has shifted so that the responsibility is no longer on the child to be a dutiful son or daughter but on the parent(s) to optimize their child's opportunity to fulfill their potential mainly by providing appropriate material and social opportunities (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 1995). Increasingly, it is argued that it is not just family and sexual relationships alone but an increasing range of personal relationships (e. …

90 citations

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