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Selling (Out) Feminism: Sustainability of Ideology-Viability Tensions in a Competitive Marketplace

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Feminist mainstreaming has made feminist ideology one choice among many causes in a competitive marketplace. To stay competitive, feminist organizations must manage the dual goals of advocacy and financial viability. This study explores how an independent media business that publishes a feminist popular culture magazine and sponsors community events navigates ideology-viability tensions. This analysis articulates two discursive strategies employed by organizations to manage ideology-viability tensions: (1) equation of viability with ideology and (2) acquiescence to pressures of viability. These strategies indicate specific ways in which ideology is shaped to accommodate viability pressures. Lessons for organizations committed to social change, but faced with oppositional goals, are offered.

Keywords: Consumerism; Feminism; Ideology; Organizational Communication; Political Economies; Sustainability

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

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