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First Generation Feminist? Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Politicisation and Finding a Home within Feminism

Independent Researcher, Glasgow, UK
Genealogy 2019, 3(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3020033
Received: 14 April 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feminist Genealogies: Specific Political Intersections)
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Abstract

In spite of the apparent rise in feminism, who gets to know about feminism is still fraught and impartial. How then, do we come to find ‘a home’ in and for feminism when it has been absent from our formative politicisation? How comfortable is that home for working-class academics? In this paper, I reflect on my feminist genealogy—from growing up as a working-class girl in a small Scottish town in an area of deprivation to becoming a first generation feminist academic in a Russell Group University in the UK. This paper builds on the wealth of research exploring the trajectories of working-class women within academia by engaging genealogy research to explore how one develops as a feminist within academia—which can also be a strange place for first generation academics. As an undergraduate coming of age in the ‘post-feminist’ 1990s, access to the language and politics of feminism was beyond my grasp. I came to feminism relatively late in my life and academic career—it was in my doctoral research that I really became engaged academically and as a named political identity. I employ auto-ethnography in this paper and reflect on how our intimate others are always implicated in our own stories. This allows me to highlight how inherited experiences, memories, and embodiments are key. Intergenerational learning can make us implicitly feminist before we learn the formal language of feminism. The stories I choose to tell and ‘memories’ I invoke here are re-crafted and recalled in response to what frustrates me now. That young women are still telling the same stories that I tell here. View Full-Text
Keywords: working class; higher education; auto-ethnography; politicisation; inheritance; feminism; pedagogy working class; higher education; auto-ethnography; politicisation; inheritance; feminism; pedagogy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Turbine, V. First Generation Feminist? Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Politicisation and Finding a Home within Feminism. Genealogy 2019, 3, 33.

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