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A Nation of NeighborhoodsImagining Cities, Communities, and Democracy in Postwar America$
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Benjamin Looker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226073989

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226290454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Neighborhood Feminisms

Neighborhood Feminisms

Refiguring Gender in the Urban Village

(p.290) Ten Neighborhood Feminisms
A Nation of Neighborhoods

Benjamin Looker

University of Chicago Press

Catholic neighborhood advocates generally spoke a language of tradition and authority, but other figures to emerge from the 1970s ethnic revival labored instead to create a self-conscious brand of “neighborhood feminism,” presenting the intimate blue-collar city community as the best staging ground for initiatives to bolster women's political empowerment and assertion. As chapter 10 observes, advocates such as Barbara Mikulski, Nancy Siefer, and Jan Peterson characterized their neighborhood work as a challenge to the middle-class individualism of mainstream liberal-feminist lobby groups. The National Congress of Neighborhood Women, founded by Peterson and several Brooklyn allies, aimed to serve as “the ‘theoretical mother’ of an alternative women's movement,” one that drew its energies from block-level community relationships. Taken together, these 1970s intellectual and organizing efforts situated the close-knit urban village as catalyst for fresh forms of women's movement activism.

Keywords:   feminism, women's movement, neighborhood, National Congress of Neighborhood Women, Barbara Mikulski, Nancy Siefer, Jan Peterson

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