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Watching Women's Liberation, 1970Feminism's Pivotal Year on the Network News$
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Bonnie J. Dow

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038563

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038563.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Watching Women's Liberation, 1970

Bonnie J. Dow

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book focuses on the national television news narratives about the second wave of feminism that proliferated in 1970, a year in which the networks' eagerness to make sense of the movement for their viewers was accompanied by feminists' efforts to use national media for their own purposes. The interaction of these efforts produced coverage that was distinguished by its contradictions—it ranged from sympathetic to patronizing, from thoughtful to sensationalistic, and from evenhanded to overtly dismissive. The effects of the movement's heightened public profile proved to be equally unpredictable. Even negative coverage had positive outcomes for movement growth; at the same time, some feminist media activism that proved surprisingly successful had an adverse effect on movement cohesion.

Keywords:   feminist movement, social movement, feminism, television networks, national media, feminist media activism

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