Feminist Identifications in a Troubled Society

Carol Percy, John Kremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports selected findings from a programme of postgraduate research which examined women's identifications with feminism in Northern Ireland. This qualitative study used repertory grids and semi-structured interviews to explore the meanings of feminism with a total of 31 women. It shows how women's perceptions of feminists have affected their decisions about whether or not to identify themselves as such. The data reported here are from case studies of 26 women. The repertory grids uncovered perceived commonalities and differences between women's present and ideal selves and feminists, while the interviews revealed some of the conflicts women negotiate in their daily lives and the compromises they must make in attempts at conflict resolution. A conflicting picture emerges in which many women support feminist ideals but do not identify as feminists because of a negative stereotype of feminists. While this stereotype has specific connotations in the context of Northern Ireland, it seems likely that certain aspects of it, and the ways in which it is used, may apply to other patriarchal and heterosexist societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-222
Number of pages22
JournalFeminism & Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1995
Externally publishedYes


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