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Women and Citizenship$
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Marilyn Friedman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195175344.001.0001

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Women's Community Activism and the Rejection of “Politics”

Women's Community Activism and the Rejection of “Politics”

Some Dilemmas of Popular Democratic Movements

(p.66) (p.67) 4 Women's Community Activism and the Rejection of “Politics”
Women and Citizenship

Martha Ackelsberg

Oxford University Press

Ackelsberg investigates women’s activist participation in the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW), a Brooklyn association established in 1974–75, which she treats as a model of democratic civic engagement that incorporated differences while avoiding the exclusions of the past. The NCNW assisted poor and working class women in organizing to better meet their needs and those of their communities. It arose in response to the ways women were either ignored or belittled when they attempted to engage in political work both in their communities and beyond. In working with each other, the women found that they needed to address issues of diversity. The programs they created to help build bridges across differences that helped facilitate their successful activism while, simultaneously, broadening their understanding of what constitutes “politics.”

Keywords:   democracy, participation, diversity, difference, politics, community, activism, civic engagement

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