Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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core definition

Postfeminism is a term used to refer to a view that presupposes that the feminist movement of the 1970s has resulted in social, political and economic gains for women, which allow them to compete with men, albeit in a men's world.

explanatory context

Postfeminists assume that there is no longer any need for aggressive assaults on male bastions, privilege and power nor for virulent attacks on men as men.

Some commentators argue that postfeminism is unduly optimistic in assuming that the feminist battle is won. They suggest it is erroneous to argue, as postfeminists do, that old style feminism is just the whingeing of those women who have remained unsuccessful in the climate of increased opportunity.

Opponents of postfeminism argue that this postfeminist view simply presents success in male terms. Feminist opposition to postfeminism goes further in (a) caricaturing postfeminist women as honorary men and (b) seeing them as male creations designed to maintain patriarchal power.

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also



copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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