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Women, Politics and the Public Sphere$
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Ann Brooks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447330639

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447330639.001.0001

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The role of social movements leading to the emergence of women public intellectuals

The role of social movements leading to the emergence of women public intellectuals

(p.67) Five The role of social movements leading to the emergence of women public intellectuals
Women, Politics and the Public Sphere

Ann Brooks

Policy Press

This chapter addresses the significance of social movements in accelerating women into the public sphere as public intellectuals. Indeed, the role of social movements was important in defining women public intellectuals politically. The growth of social movements has to be set alongside the expansion of higher education for women, as well as the expansion of the print industry. This led to an expansion and broadening of the base of women's participation in political activity, particularly around specific campaigns and causes. Women were actively involved, individually and collectively, in a number of campaigns prior to the emergence of the suffrage movement. Ultimately, the intersection of gender and class was an important factor leading to the growth of both political activism and, more specifically, the emergence of the suffragettes and later women's liberation movement (WLM). Analysis shows that the motivation of most women was pragmatic and issue based as opposed to ideological. Issue-based politics covered all social classes and thus brought women together in social activism and within social movements.

Keywords:   social movements, women public intellectuals, political activity, suffrage movement, political activism, suffragettes, women's liberation movement, issue-based politics, social activism

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