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The first coherent picture of who joins such movements as the New Right and how they think

Women of the New Right

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Rebecca E. Klatch

Victoria Schuck Award, American Political Science Association, 1988

"Klatch moves us beyond the association of right-wing women and anti-feminist activities to a better understanding of how women in the New Right understand the political debates of our times.... This is an important book."
Gender and Society

Although an array of commentary and analyses focus on the New Right, little has been done to tell us who the women are on this side of the political spectrum. Are they social conservatives who call for the reassertion of traditional family values as promulgated by the federal government? Or do they align themselves with laissez-faire conservatives who abhor government intervention yet, like social conservatives, favor increased defense spending, and condemn communism and secular humanism. Rebecca E. Klatch provides the first coherent picture of who joins such movements and how they think.

This book draws upon a rich data source which includes in-depth interviews and field research at right-wing conferences and meetings. Rather than the image of right-wing women as a monolithic group of angry housewives who oppose feminism, the author finds a fundamental division among women of the New Right, with one constituency of women actually supporting part of the feminist vision. Analyzing varying perceptions of women of the New Right, the book examines their beliefs and values, their vision of America, their interpretations of Communism, big government, and feminism, as well as their view of themselves as women and as political actors.

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Reviews

"[Women of the New Right offers] ...valuable insights into symbols and arguments that have given the Right so much of its power. Rebecca Klatch paints a telling portrait of the right-wing ideology she discovered among 30 women active in a broad spectrum of conservative causes.... Its major strength is that it forces us to take women of the New Right seriously. The book counters the standard, sexist dismissal of such women as monomaniacal, anti-feminist reactionaries. They arenít. The women Klatch portrays are not easily stereotyped: what they say reveals them to be women struggling to articulate their worldview in a political way."
The Womenís Review of Books

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About the Author(s)

Rebecca E. Klatch is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Subject Categories

Sociology
Political Science and Public Policy
Women's Studies


In the series

Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.

No longer active.

Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg, includes books on women and issues of work, family, social movements, politics, feminism, and empowerment. It emphasizes women's roles in society and the social construction of gender and also explores current policy issues like comparable worth, international development, job training, and parental leave.

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