?I?m not the Queen of Feminism?: Contradictions between Feminist Identification and Collective Action among Young New Zealand Feminists.
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination - 12th Conference of the ESA
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In the mid-1980s, New Zealand?s Labour Government introduced significant social and economic reforms as solutions to the economic recession. The resultant shift towards a neoliberal agenda has received much international attention for its rapid and radical character. Since then, the neoliberal direction further solidified, making New Zealand an ideal setting for case studies of neoliberal environments. Taking the argument that neoliberal values of individualism have corroded feminism?s potential for collective action as a starting point, this paper investigates how deeply neoliberal thought has imprinted itself on contemporary feminist ideology. It presents findings of qualitative interviews with young New Zealand women, who are often accused by the older feminist generation of not identifying as feminists and not demonstrating a shared feminist agenda. By unpacking the reasons for young women?s apparent resistance to collective identification, I argue that they, in fact, share fundamental feminist values. However, increasingly high expectations within feminist circles to acknowledge intersectional differences between women, paired with an appreciation for individual agency generated a feminist culture in which young women are too anxious to express ideas of unity. Because they do not want to be perceived as imposing their personal ideas on others, feminist representation and the concept of ?speaking for others? become problematic. Yet, there seems to be a difference between articulating a shared feminist agenda and actually sharing feminist values. Thus, this paper concludes that despite an observable hesitation to make collective feminist claims and to universally define what feminism is, New Zealand?s young women do not regard feminism as a redundant ideology but value and live feminism, if in somewhat different ways than their mother?s generation.