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Reflections on a feminist psychology of women: Paradoxes and prospects

By Michelle Fine


testimony to the progress made by feminist psychologists and an op-portunity for critical self reflection on this literature. This paper reports an analysis of the methods and conclusions of articles published in Psychology of Women Quarterly from 1978 through 1981. The analysis was undertaken to document what has been accomplished by the psy-chology of women literature, to identify vestiges of traditional psy-chology reproduced within this literature, to examine conceptual paradoxes introduced by attempts to generate a feminist psychology, and to articulate prospects for a fuller realization of a feminist psy-chology. Three paradoxes, examined in detail, emerge from feminist psychology’s commitment to contextual validity: the presumption of ”progressive progress”; the implication of internal causes for social conditions; and the advancement of individualistic change strategies. The analysis concludes with recommendations for enhancing the con-textual validity of feminist psychology. True, the movement for women’s rights has broken many old fetters, but it has also forged new ones

Year: 1985
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1985.tb00870.x
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