Women’s Movements in the United States: Woman Suffrage, Equal Rights, and Beyond
Steven Buecheler has written a comparative sociological analysis of the woman suffrage movement (1840s-1920) and the contemporary women’s movement (1960s to the present). His identification of similarities and differences between these movements reveals persistent feminist issues over time as well as the distinctive concerns of each movement in the sociohistorical context. Buecheler compares these two movements in terms of their origins, organizations, ideologies, class and racial diversities, countermovement’s, and outcomes. He uses resource mobilization theory.
Buecheler explains why women’s movements arise, the forms of organization they adopt, the diversity of ideologies they espouse, and the class and racial composition of women’s movements. He also helps us to understand the roots of countermovements, as well as the mixture of successes and failures that has characterized both past and present women’s movements. While recognizing both the setbacks and the victories of the contemporary movement, Buecheler identifies grounds for relative optimism about the lasting consequences of this ongoing mobilization.
Buechler also explores the complex relationship between social change and social movements. Rapid change both enables and constricts the potential for collective action, which in turn reshapes social structure, By studying long-lived moments in a comparative framework, Buechler sheds light on the broader dialectical relation between agency and structure that is embodied in movement efforts at social change.