Maternal politics : women's strategies in a rural development association

Murphy, Kathleen Anne (1991) Maternal politics : women's strategies in a rural development association. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The central concern of this thesis was to understand how women had achieved and maintained local political power in a regional development association (LSDA) in a isolated logging region in northern Newfoundland, dominated by several sects of fundamentalist religions. Early researchers had suggested that women in Newfoundland were subordinate to men; later research revealed that women had some power and authority but located in separate spheres from those of men; but the women I was examining had achieved power in the public and political arenas. The central puzzle in the course of the fieldwork and the writing of my thesis was understanding how and why this group of women who made up the executive of the LSDA were able to come into positions of authority and power, both in their own personal lives, and within the context of a fundamentalist religious community, which upholds patriarchal ideals about the roles of women and men in the community. -- I saw that women's maternal strategies and politics enabled the women of the LSDA to achieve decision-making positions within the community. Maternal politics is the transference of women's traditional maternal, nurturing, and caretaking role to the political sphere. Within the political domain they were able to improve the condition of women's lives by using the very roles imposed on them as women by the patriarchal fundamentalist culture of Northeast Brook. These strategies I discuss first in the fundamentalist congregations and then within the specific context of the LSDA. I then discuss the theoretical implications of this kind of working class women's politics within the political framework of feminism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4006
Item ID: 4006
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [227]-234.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Labrador Sea Development Association; Women in rural development--Newfoundland and Labrador; Women--Newfoundland and Labrador--Social conditions

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