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Is Sisterhood Global? A Rhetorical Analysis of Transnational Women's Organizing Open Access

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For U.S.-based global women's organizations, what kind of thought processes surround the use of rhetorics such as "sisterhood" or organizing "as women," especially given multicultural and postcolonial feminist theorists' critiques of these rhetorics? Are alternative rhetorics, such as "solidarity" or "friendship," being utilized? Drawing on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven organizers, this project provides a better understanding of why and how rhetorical choices are made, how they relate to power relations, and how theory and praxis intersect in global women's activism. The new data indicate that a range of rhetorical approaches are currently in use. Some organizations continue to use the traditional language uncritically; some utilize it strategically within specific contexts; others have rejected it in favor of alternative models. The data suggest that neither total acceptance nor rejection of the traditional rhetorics is warranted in transnational women's organizing; rather, the context of the language's production is key.

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