The new face of French feminism: an analysis of the origins, aims and successes of the immigrant feminist movement in France

McKeown, Sarah (2014) The new face of French feminism: an analysis of the origins, aims and successes of the immigrant feminist movement in France. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The immigrant feminist movement in France began as a grassroots movement in the mid-1990s to defend the rights of women of immigrant heritage against discriminatory legislation, prevailing colonial attitudes towards ethnic women and the endemic violence in the banlieues. This dissertation examines the factors that precipitated the emergence of this movement in France as well as evaluating its successes according to the theory of new social movements.
    It starts with an in-depth analysis of modern French feminism from May 1968 onwards in order to contextualise recent feminist movements; however it acknowledges that mainstream feminism has not appropriately tackled the different ways in which women experience sexism. It then, using post-colonial theory and French Republican ideology, identifies immigration laws, colonial attitudes and growing violence towards women as three key factors that inspired the mobilisation of new groups. Finally it uses Melucci’s criteria of establishing new social movements to define the movement and identify the shared ideology, and Gamson’s criteria, both in Della Porta and Diani (1999), for evaluating success to establish the overall impact of this movement. A case study on violence and the campaigns carried out by the groups Ni Putes ni Soumises, Action et Droits des Femmes Exilées et Migrantes and Voix d’elles rebelles is then used to analyse gains and failures.
    The findings demonstrate that although the movement itself has been divided over the use of republican discourse and political affiliation, nevertheless there are enough shared values between groups to categorise this as a new social movement. There have been a number of successes, most importantly that of raising awareness and lobbying the government. This dissertation concludes that there is some way to go before complete parity between men and women is achieved in France and that current legislation does not appropriately take difference into account.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 11:31
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:45

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