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The Price of Progressive PoliticsThe Welfare Rights Movement in an Era of Colorblind Racism$
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Rose Ernst

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814722480

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814722480.001.0001

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To Each Her Own

To Each Her Own

Race and Class in Gendered Coalitions

(p.19) 2 To Each Her Own
The Price of Progressive Politics

Rose Ernst

NYU Press

This chapter provides an overview of the initial development of social movement frames around women, work, and independence, examining how the “women's movement” in the 1960s may have inadvertently and unintentionally narrowed the strategic choices available to welfare rights activists in the 1990s. There was minimal attention to issues of poverty, welfare, and race in the messages relayed to National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter groups, membership, and supporters. Instead, a prioritization of issues such as employment discrimination indicates the importance this group placed on employment as a tool of empowering and liberating women. The particular framing of welfare issues, such as economic independence/dependence and child support, revealed a different perspective of welfare priorities than welfare rights activists. This was a particular perspective born out of the experiences related to the race, gender, and class identities of the majority of NOW's membership.

Keywords:   social movement, women's movement, welfare rights activists, National Organization for Women, employment discrimination

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