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Abstract:

Contemporary scholars often reminisce about the 1950s as a "golden era" of civic engagement, a time when men and women alike were more likely to bowl together, attend PTA meetings, go to church, belong to the Masons or the Eastern Star, and participate in labor unions and political parties. But, does civic engagement affect politics? Under what circumstances will civic engagement lead to political activity? Why do some groups flourish when others do not? The status of women during the 1950s in particular raises important questions about the relationship between civic groups and political opportunities. Although women's participation in civic groups reached record levels in the 1950s, popular wisdom suggests that women possessed a weak political voice and were more often constrained by a conservative culture than they were political actors in their own right. Did women's voluntary groups during the mid-20th century politicize and empower women, or encourage their quiescence or regress?

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women (255), polit (128), gfwc (121), associ (120), nation (119), feder (111), clubwomen (107), nacwc (104), club (97), group (84), local (84), organ (78), woman (71), civic (64), public (64), war (58), general (55), social (53), methodist (53), member (52), black (51),

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Keywords: civic engagement, social capital, voluntary associations, women, gender, race, social movements, interest groups, political development
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Name: American Political Science Association
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Mathews-Gardner, A.. "A" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2002 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p65182_index.html>

APA Citation:

Mathews-Gardner, A. L. , 2002-08-28 "A" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p65182_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Contemporary scholars often reminisce about the 1950s as a "golden era" of civic engagement, a time when men and women alike were more likely to bowl together, attend PTA meetings, go to church, belong to the Masons or the Eastern Star, and participate in labor unions and political parties. But, does civic engagement affect politics? Under what circumstances will civic engagement lead to political activity? Why do some groups flourish when others do not? The status of women during the 1950s in particular raises important questions about the relationship between civic groups and political opportunities. Although women's participation in civic groups reached record levels in the 1950s, popular wisdom suggests that women possessed a weak political voice and were more often constrained by a conservative culture than they were political actors in their own right. Did women's voluntary groups during the mid-20th century politicize and empower women, or encourage their quiescence or regress?

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Document Type: .pdf
Page count: 58
Word count: 22303
Text sample:
A ``Golden Era'' for Whom?: Women's Voluntary Associations and Political Development in the Mid­20 th Century A. Lanethea Mathews­Gardner 100 Eggers Hall Department of Political Science Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Syracuse University Syracuse NY 13210 Email: almathew@maxwell.syr.edu Webpage: http://student.maxwell.syr.edu/almathew/index.html Paper prepared for delivery at the 98 th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association Boston MA August 29­September 1 2002 *Preliminary Draft. Comments Welcome! Mathews­Gardner 2 A ``Golden Era'' For Whom?: Women's Voluntary Associations and
Voluntary associations like the GFWC NACWC and WDCS not only promoted public issues important to women but they also empowered women in civic and political life. It is not clear that modernized women's groups like the WDCS of the late 1960s and 1970s or newly emerging interest groups or even social movement organizations of the civil rights movement mobilized female citizenship in the ways that old­line voluntary associations had previously. Certainly as local and national forms of civic organizing


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The Deliberating Woman: An Examination of the Social Forces that Govern Women's Participation (or lack thereof)in Public Political Discussions

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