The co-optation of feminisms: a research agenda

de Jong, Sara and Kimm, Susanne (2017). The co-optation of feminisms: a research agenda. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 19(2) pp. 185–200.



This article introduces the thematic section “The co-optation of feminisms: a research agenda,” which brings together contributions that discuss the appropriation, dilution and reinterpretation of feminist discourses, and practices by nonfeminist actors for their purposes. Recognizing the myriad ways in which feminist scholars and activists have shared their concerns with co-optation within their respective subfields, we propose that it is productive to develop a more substantive research agenda around co-optation. In the first section, we seek to contribute to this by synthesizing the scattered literature on co-optation in various feminist subfields. Subsequently, we present a selection of studies on co-optation published outside feminist studies in order to identify concepts and empirical insights that are instructive for developing a feminist research agenda on co-optation. This forms the basis for a set of guiding questions that we propose could be helpful in analyzing co-optation. The article finally presents the contributions to this thematic section and discusses what each article adds to our understanding and conceptualization of co-optation.

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