Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Adam, B.


Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.




Feminist women of colour have argued that mainstream feminism makes unfounded generalizations about the experiences of all women based on those of the white, middle-class female. Such generalizations elide differences between women, particularly those resulting from race and class. Rather than take the exclusion of racism (as a topic within mainstream feminism) as a point of departure this thesis seeks first to explain such exclusion through the use of feminist poststructuralism and illustrative case studies. The historical experience of Afro-American women during slavery and the cult of true womanhood, as well as the experiences of black women within the context of early to mid twentieth-century Canadian immigration policy, demonstrate a relationship between racism, sexism and classism which shows them to be equal and integral components in the oppression of black women. This multivariate relationship not only problematizes the mainstream feminist assertion that sexism is the primary oppression in women's lives but also illustrates an experiential difference between mainstream feminists and feminist women of colour. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1991 .S258. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-04, page: 1140. Chair: Barry D. Adam. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1991.