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Snapshots then and now: Feminism and the law in Alberta

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The pioneering efforts of women such as Emily Murphy in Alberta during the early part of this century effected legal change and altered women's lives. Women began to see the law as a vehicle for social change, entitling them to property and giving rise to new expectations that a world of \"true happiness\" would emerge. However, this time also saw the beginnings of fractures and divisions in the modern feminist movement based on race, class and sexual orientation. Late twentieth century feminist theory has, in part, been an attempt to overcome theoretical imperatives of universalism (the nature of mankind) and essentialism (features common to all women), with mixed results. Nonetheless, the failures offeminists in this area who have acted at cross-purposes do not erase the successes in the same project and the influence felt at the University of Alberta. | Les efforts audacieux de certaines pionnidres telles que Emily Murphy en Alberta au ddbut du si&le ont fait 6voluer'les lois et transform la condition fiminine. Les femmes ont commencd it percevoir la Loi comme un outil de changement social leur donnant droit di la proprt6 et porteur d'un monde de (( reel bonheur ). Mais cette ipoque a igalement donni lieu d des fractures et des divisions fondies sur la race, la classe et l'orientation sexuelle dans le mouvement ftministe moderne. La thdorieflministe de lafin du ,W2 siicle s'efforce en partie de surmonter les impgratifs de l'universalisme (la nature de I 'humaniti) et de I 'essentialisme (les caractiristiques communes 6 toutes les femmes) avec un succ~s mitig . Mais les dchecs des fdministes agissant d contre courant dans ce domaine n'effacent pas les progrds rdalisds ni I'influence ressentie h l'Universitd de I'Alberta.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 1996 Annalise Acorn et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Acorn, A. (1996). Snapshots then and now: Feminism and the law in Alberta. Alberta Law Review, 35(1), 140-164. Retrieved from
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