Feminist geography, prehistory of
Bowlby, S. R. and Tivers, J. (2009) Feminist geography, prehistory of. In: Kitchen, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier, pp. 59-63. ISBN 9780080449104
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/B978-008044910-4.00396-5
The article traces the beginnings and early history of feminist geography in the United Kingdom through the memories and personal narratives of two women who were heavily involved in this field of geographical research, in the 1970s, and were founder members of the Women and Geography Study Group of the Institute of British Geographers. The article begins by considering the context (both political and academic) within which feminist geography was born. Second-wave feminism and the rise of the women’s movement, initially in the United States, is seen as a major influence on the development of feminist geography. In the academic world, it was the dominance of quantitative geography in the 1960s, and the related opposition to this positivist paradigm by humanistic and socialist geographers, which led to calls for a recognition of the inequalities faced by women in society and an understanding of the differences in men’s and women’s lives. Through personal narratives, the authors seek to illustrate the obstacles and disagreements, as well as the encouragements and opportunities, which led to the birth of UK-feminist geography. Many individual geographers, influential to the story, are referred to, seen through the eyes of the authors at that time.