Young women, feminist identities and neo-liberalism

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This article draws on a life history study to illustrate the ways in which young women currently occupy more than one subject position in relation to gender, equality and feminism. In particular, efforts are made to explore the tendency for young women to support an equal opportunities framework yet also distance themselves from feminism, and in particular the subjectivity of ‘feminist’. It is suggested that the women in the study were juggling different subject positions simultaneously. Whilst the data reveals that the young women were negotiating their lives around gendered dynamics, they were also constructing a narrative wherein they described gender inequality as a thing of the past. This narrative was heavily informed by a position of individualism which ostensibly opened up ‘new choices’ to their life paths, but simultaneously influenced the ways in which they could recognise and resist gendered inequalities in their lives. The article concludes by considering the implications this has for the ways in which these young women identified with the wider collective movement of feminism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-508
Number of pages14
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


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