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Title: The march of reclaim the night : feminist activism in movement
Author: Mackay, Finn
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores changes in the formm and function of the British Women's Liberation Movement over three decades, from the 1970s to the present day. The route into this topic is through one particular element of this movement, a global tradition of women's street protest against male violence against women called the Reclaim the Night march. For the first time providing a concise history of this march, from its European roots in 1976 to its emergence in the UK in 1977, the thesis charts the influences behind this protest, and in particular the formation of feminist theory on male violence against women. Theories from Radical and Revolutionary Feminism are analysed alongside challenges from queer theory, within a context of a resurgence of feminism and feminist activism in the UK, sometimes referred to as a third wave of feminism. The thesis uses original empirical research with feminist activists of different generations to consider how the organisation and aims of Reclaim the Night have changed over the years, from the original marches in the 1970s and 80s, during the period known as the Second Wave of feminism, to those revived in the UK since the early 2000s. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty five feminists from across England. In addition, an open, electronic survey garnered one hundred and eight responses, from across the UK, providing further activist voices. The thesis highlights that changes have indeed taken place in the methods and aims of Reclaim the Night, and within the wider Women's Liberation Movement across the UK. Focusing on the current decline of women-only space and debates around inclusion, this thesis contends that there is much of value to be learned from Second Wave theory and practice, including from Radical Feminism; arguably still highly relevant to the contemporary feminist movement as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available