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date: 21 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews literature that asks the following: How do women protest? Are their protests successful? And which is more successful for women, protest or conventional politics? The distinction between protest and conventional politics is less straightforward than it first appears, since the public roles of American men and women have long been gender specific. To look at changes in the way women have used direct action and protest, the chapter examines the anti-slavery, suffrage, civil rights, and second and third wave women’s movements. Context appears to play a large role in shaping the tactics women use within these movements. Scholarship finds that, in general, protest is a necessary component of women’s efforts to achieve their goals. Future research on movements that examines the context of women’s participation across a range of issues should provide a clearer picture of the tactics open to them in specific eras.

Keywords: protest, direct action, women’s movement, anti-slavery, civil rights, politics

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