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The Personal is Political: Emma Goldman and Feminist Sociology

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Chapter Summary

Most of the academic work on Emma Goldman has focused overwhelmingly on her life and personal biography for understandable reasons, since her life history was indeed quite compelling. Relatively little attention has been given to Goldman's ideas. Those works that have examined Goldman's ideas have come almost exclusively from the realm of political science and have focused on her contributions to anarchist theory. Goldman's ideas remain important for contemporary feminist analysis as well as for efforts of public sociology and social change. Feminist scholar and social historian Linda Gordon suggests that Goldman more than any other figure should be credited with fusing sex radicalism into a single theory. Likewise, Alice Wexler credits Goldman with "going further than most radicals in her understanding of the politics of sex". This chapter is a reflection of Goldman's sociological approach to gendered social problems and other issues of feminist concern.

Keywords: Alice Wexler; anarchist theory; Emma Goldman; feminist sociology; Linda Gordon; political science; public sociology; sex radicalism

10.1163/9789004252998_005
/content/books/b9789004252998s005
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