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'It didn't just come out of nowhere did it?' The origins of the women's liberation movement in 1960s Britain

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This article uses oral testimony to examine the social origins of the women’s liberation movement (WLM) in Britain circa 1968-1982. Whilst we have a well-established narrative for the political origins of the movement, little work has been done on the background to the women of the ‘baby boomer’ generation who became second wave feminists. Examining life histories, particularly from the perspective of routes to feminist thinking, identifies such factors as family background, education and everyday sexism to create a picture of the women who made a movement which helped change the face of Britain. This article also seeks to demonstrate that the WLM was broadly based, with a substantial presence of working-class women, and was truly national in character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages11
JournalOral History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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