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Feminists in Politics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125982801, 9781483265520

Feminists in Politics

1st Edition

A Panel Analysis of the First National Women's Conference

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Author: Alice S. Rossi
eBook ISBN: 9781483265520
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1982
Page Count: 440
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Feminists in Politics: A Panel Analysis of the First National Women's Conference provides a systematic study of the impact of the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, Texas, in November 1977, on the participants. It traces the past political activities of the conference participants; what they actually did during the conference; the impact of the conference on their commitment to political action in the future; and their aspirations for holding elected office in American politics or in organizations associated with the feminist movement.
The volume begins by placing the IWY Commission and the study of the conference in the context of feminist history—both the long-term history that reaches back to Seneca Falls in 1848 and the short-term history of more recent post-1965 political developments. Subsequent chapters deal with design, variable measurement, and response pattern analysis; political organization and group formation; the differences between Pro-Plan and Anti-Plan activists at the conference; and the past political development of the delegates and their political aspirations. This impact analysis will be of interest to political scientists and sociologists, as well as to political activists concerned with the efficacy of alternative action strategies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



1 The National Conference in Historical Perspective


Long-Term Historical Context

The Third Wave of Feminism: 1961-1981

The National IWY Commission and the National Women's Conference

Research on the National Women's Conference

Dual Roles as Researcher and IWY Commissioner

Organization of the Book

2 Whom Did We Miss? Response Pattern Analysis


The Population: Target and Attainment

Data and Coding of Bioforms

Response Analysis: Elected Delegates and Alternates

Response Analysis: Ford and Carter Commissioners

Response Analysis: Secretariat Staff


3 Design and Measurement


Major Components of the Research Design

Predictor Variables

Demographic and Status Variables

Overall Design

Profile of the Sample

Political Experience

Feminist Beliefs

Measuring the Houston Experience

Political Plans

4 Conference Organization and Political Behavior


Organizational Categories at the Conference

Socioeconomic Characteristics

Political Characteristics

Organizational Membership

Political Activity

Role in Houston

Expected versus Actual Leadership Role

Network Formation


5 The State Delegation: Formation and Impact


Links between State Coordinating Committees and State Delegations

Organizational Membership and Delegate Role Expectations

Structural Characteristics of Delegations

Actual Roles Played in Houston

Development of Personal Familiarity with Home-State Delegates

Network Formation in Houston


6 The Structures of Affect and Belief


Belief Structure

Determinants of Belief Structure

Affect Structure

Determinants of Affect Structure

Belief and Affect Consistency

Consensus and Constraint: NOW versus the League of Women Voters

Consensus and Constraint: Pro-Plan versus Anti-Plan Activists


7 Paths to Political Competence and Action


The Analysis Model

Leadership at the Conference

Political Competence

Holding Office

Mainstream versus Movement Political Activity

Organizational Membership

Family Connections and Political Activity

Paths to Political Activism: an Overview

8 Looking Ahead: Political Aspirations and Action


Aspiration Measurement

Aspiration Typology

Determinants of Political Aspirations

Impact of the Conference on Political Aspirations

Commitment to Implementation of Conference Resolutions


9 Summary of Findings and Their Political Implications


Unique Features of the Study

Major Findings

Appendix A The Houston National Women's Conference Study

October Survey (1977)

February Survey (1978)

Appendix B Alphabetical List of Indices, Operational Definitions, and Location in Surveys

Appendix C Resolutions Endorsed by National Women's Conference

1. Arts and Humanities

2. Battered Women

3. Business

4. Child Abuse

5. Child Care

6. Credit

7. Disabled Women

8. Education

9. Elective and Appointive Office

10. Employment

11. Equal Rights Amendment

12. Health

13. Homemakers

14. Insurance

15. International Affairs

16. Media

17. Minority Women

18. Offenders

19. Older Women

20. Rape

21. Reproductive Freedom

22. Rural Women

23. Sexual Preference

24. Statistics

25. Women, Welfare, and Poverty



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© Academic Press 1982
28th January 1982
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Alice S. Rossi

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