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Consciousness Raising

  Consciousness Raising groups grew out of the Women\'s Liberation Movement of the 1960s. The aim of these groups was to give women the opportunity to talk about and understand their experience of oppression, and to recognize through listening to other women the commonality of the experience of sexual oppression. The methodology of Consciousness Raising groups was summed up in the phrase, ‘The personal is political’. The groups offer women a non-hierarchical space and practice in which to speak for themselves, and also a platform from which women can speak out as a group. Some feminists criticized the search for commonality, arguing that it denied the different experience of women of colour and lesbian women. Consciousness Raising groups placed value upon women\'s everyday experience which was often considered ‘banal’ and marginalized within traditional patriarchal academic discourse.

Sheila Rowbotham has argued that insights derived from Consciousness Raising groups have led to the diversity of political, theoretical and anti-theoretical positions within feminism. For many feminists, Consciousness Raising has added the dimension of women\'s experience to theoretical work and has helped women to find the voice to speak out for themselves against oppression. TK

Further reading Juliet Mitchell, Woman\'s Estate; Women\'s Studies Group, Women Take Issue: Aspects of Women\'s Subordination.



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