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Title page for ETD etd-07312009-150021

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hewitt, Lyndi
URN etd-07312009-150021
Title The Politics of Transnational Feminist Discourse: Framing across Differences, Building Solidarities
Degree PhD
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Holly J. McCammon Committee Chair
Brooke A. Ackerly Committee Member
Karen E. Campbell Committee Member
Larry W. Isaac Committee Member
  • transnational feminism
  • framing
  • social movements
Date of Defense 2009-06-19
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation intervenes at the nexus of the literatures on social movement framing, transnational activism, and feminist theory through an analysis of frame variation within the contemporary transnational women’s movement. Using a feminist methodological approach and drawing on multiple data sources, including an original dataset of online texts of movement organizations and participant observation of transnational activist meetings, I undertake three interrelated analytical endeavors. First, I illuminate the heterogeneity of framing strategies among a representative sample of transnational feminist organizations; second, I show how organizational characteristics such as resources and identity combine to influence the framing strategies of transnational feminist organizations; finally, I demonstrate how transnational feminist organizations use collective action frames as discursive tools in their efforts to address intramovement differences. In addressing these concerns, I extend existing research on transnational social movements and framing, much of which relies on case studies, by providing a theoretically grounded, systematic analysis that employs a comparative design. As part of this endeavor, I examine the interplay of structural and cultural forces at the meso-level, and ultimately argue for an inclusive perspective that recognizes the continued importance of resource mobilization theories, even in studies where the cultural aspects of movements (e.g., framing) are central. In so doing, I generate theoretical, substantive, and methodological insights of interest to scholars of social movement framing and transnational activism, and also to feminist theorists.
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