Library Dissertation Showcase

An examination of the use of emotion as a mobilising force amongst second wave feminists in the periodical Spare Rib

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2019

This dissertation argues that women’s emotions were crucial to the mobilisation of second wave feminists. The emotional economy of the feminist periodical Spare Rib forms the basis of this research arguing that Spare Rib provided a venue for women to articulate their emotions in a way which challenged the culture of emotional self-restraint of the twentieth century. Emotions were presented as private and women were not expected to publicly display their emotions, but emotional communities aimed to challenge self-restraint. Second wave feminism challenged the oppressive nature of patriarchal systems that existed in Britain and women aimed to achieve equality in society through activism. This dissertation will investigate three feminist campaigns; abortion and contraception, equal pay and reclaim the night. Emotional communities were formed in new ways to encourage activism and challenge an oppressive society in which women were unequal. This research will discuss a variety of emotions to argue that happiness and hope were as crucial to the mobilisation of women as emotions of anger and fear.

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