Publications [#298641] of Kristin A. Goss

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Journal Articles

  1. Goss, KA. "Foundations of feminism: How philanthropic patrons shaped gender politics." Social Science Quarterly 88.5 (December, 2007): 1174-1191. [doi]
    (last updated on 2023/06/06)

    Although recent research has documented the contributions of philanthropic foundations as "patrons" of the major identity movements, scholars know very little about the specific ways foundations have influenced these movements' development and impact. This study examines the role of foundations in shaping the U.S. women's movement of the 1960s-1980s, in particular the role that foundations played in deciding which of its claimsmakers - and by extension, its claims - would be sustained. The study is based on an original data set of nearly 6,500 foundation grants to women's groups, or for women's causes, from 1970 to 1990. It examines shifts in the types of groups that received foundation grants and in the female interests that these groups represented. Philanthropic patrons were central to transforming women from servants of society into claimants against the state. Likewise, foundations played a critical role in segmenting U.S. womanhood into politically relevant subgroups (civic stewards, battered women, lesbians, etc.) with ever narrower policy claims. By legitimizing identity subgroups and their policy agendas, foundations played an important role in the development of special interest politics in the second half of the 20th century. In this way, professional grantmakers have constituted a critical yet overlooked force behind the construction of U.S. hyperpluralism, in the process diminishing the capacity of gender to unite women in common cause. © 2007 by the Southwestern Social Science Association.

Kristin A. Goss