Non-Fiction Books:

Confronting Rape

The Feminist Anti-Rape Movement and the State

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Confronting Rape by Nancy Anne Matthews
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Contesting Rape documents two decades of anti-rape activism. From grass-roots efforts to the institutionalization of state-funded rape crisis centers, the movement has changed public thinking about sexual assault significantly. Activists in rape crisis centers across the US created a feminist success story, although not always as they would choose. Contesting Rape explores how the State has reshaped rape crisis work by supporting the therapeutic aspects of the anti-rape movement's agenda, and pushing feminist rape centers toward conventional frameworks of social service provision, while submerging the feminist political agenda of transforming gender relations and preventing rape. Through a rich comparative history of six organizations in Los Angeles, Nancy Matthews explores the complexities within a movement that included radicals, moderates, women of color, lesbians - all working with varying frameworks. Originally critical of the State's handling of rape and distrustful of cooption, most rape crisis centers eventually came to rely on state funding for organizational survival. But have the resulting compromises gone too far? Contesting Rape documents significant resistance and continuing struggle at local level, often covert, against the mainstreaming of rape crisis work. Bureaucratic routines and discourses are both the tools through which the state redefines rape crisis work and the terrain of activists' resistance. Nancy Matthews is Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Oberlin College. Readership: sociology; women's studies; social policy and social work.
Release date NZ
September 1st, 1994
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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