The social bases of feminism in the European community

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Although several studies explore the political environments and institutional features of Western European women's movements, few have examined the mass attitudinal bases for feminist politics in Europe. This article extends the study of feminist politics by testing models of feminist attitudes developed in the United States with data collected in the European Community in 1983. We explore the connections between the support of feminist goals and measures of marital status, female employment, socioeconomic level, age, religiosity, place of residence, and political party identification, focusing on differences in the predictors of male and female attitudes. Consistent with studies of the United States, we find that women's labor force participation fosters feminist attitudes among themselves and their husbands. Age, education, religiosity, and partisanship are also found to be predictors of feminist support. In contrast to studies of American women and men, we find that marital status has no effect in Europe. Our conclusions have implications for the future of feminist politics in Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-53
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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