Women activists : lives of commitment and transformation
Hanson, Laurel Marie
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This thesis is based on a life history study of two women involved in activism for social change. Broadly guided by life history methodology and feminist and constructivist postmodern theories and approaches, this inter-disciplinary research explores experiences and stories in the lives of these women that evoke the transformative journeys of women’s long-term commitments to social change activism, and that portray ways in which personal and social transformation interweave. The stories illuminate how individual courses of action both resonate with and diverge from meta-narratives of social movements, and how they reflect and resist the contexts in which those courses evolve. Reflection on the process of constructing the stories reveals the effects on the participants and the researcher of the inter-subjective realm from which life history arises. The study’s practical purpose relating activism, transformative education and postmodernism also leads to experimentation with creative texts that at once provide educational tools and invite participation in the interpretive process. Overall the thesis melds more traditional approaches with more unconventional ones. The study is both provocative and supportive of those working for social change through transformative education and activism.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Copyright DateJanuary 2007
postmodern life history
feminist life history