Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vanguards and Violence: Representations of Female Armed Resistance and the Search for Radical Legitimacy, 1968-1975
by Buehlmaier, Nicole E., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 156; 10839550
Abstract (Summary)

The year 1968 marked the turning point from the nonviolent direct action characterized by Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement to the militant violence of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO) and other clandestine organizations in America. Disillusionment with the US political system, coupled with the increased police brutality and repression against people of color and anti-war demonstrators, cemented the need for new, militant organizing tactics for many in the New Left. Numerous white, middle-class individuals turned toward militant action and found opportunities to challenge their white privilege and fight against imperialism in clandestine organizations such as the WUO, Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), and New World Liberation Front (NWLF). Using the increase in armed actions against the state by clandestine organizations as its focus, this thesis utilizes a cultural history approach to illuminate the convergences of race, class, and gender in constructing an authentic and legitimate revolutionary identity for white, middle-class women, exposing the meaning of violence for revolutionary radicals. This thesis argues that, due to the social stigma attached to the performance of violence by white women of good upbringing, these women in clandestine organizations borrowed from marginalized groups they deemed authentic revolutionaries, established a usable past to familiarize themselves with revolutionary activism and armed struggle, and relied heavily on Third World models of revolutionary women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Luhr, Eileen
Commitee: Schrank, Sarah, Wilford, Hugh
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: American history
Keywords: Radicalism, Revolution, Seventies, Sixties, Weather underground organization, Women
Publication Number: 10839550
ISBN: 978-0-438-42005-2
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