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Journal Article

Citation

Beeman J, Guberman N, Lamoureux J, Fournier D, Gervais L. Am. Behav. Sci. 2009; 52(6): 867-884.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2009, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0002764208327663

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

This article explores a paradox revealed by our research on the democratic practices of women's groups in Qu├ębec. In focus groups and interviews, grassroots members active in these groups suggested that formal decision making structures had little meaning to most grassroots members. Workers and board members also identified a significant distance between members' participation and formal democratic structures. However, these same informants spoke eloquently of the meaning of democracy and its importance in these groups. This article analyses the meaning of democracy and democratic structures for the members of these women's groups. The analysis sits at the intersection of feminist theory on democracy and Alain Touraine's theory of the emergence of the subject through participation in democratic processes. The article explores the nuances, contradictions and richness of the different meanings of democracy for the members of these women's groups.

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