Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis

First Advisor

Alice Taylor


This research analyzes different theories of coalition in relation to the feminist movement. It first analyzes the model of a leftist hegemony as a type of coalitional model theorized by Laclau and Mouffe. Laclau and Mouffe move outside of a Marxist paradigm by acknowledging that unjust social conflicts exist beyond class. They theorize that a coalition based on multiple groups of oppressed people coming together in the name of liberty and equality will be enough to address sexism. Their model does not account for the inevitable factions that would exist within such a large coalition. The ethical component Laclau and Mouffe are missing can be found in the works of women of color feminists. The research then turns to women of color feminists and analyzes the different ethical components of coalition they developed and why. The research looks to the works of Maria Lugones in which she argues that playfulness, empathy, and self-reflection are necessities of coalitions, a speech spoken by Bernice Johnson Reagan in which she theorizes coalition as a dangerous place that people must be willing to suffer through for survival, interviews with Audre Lorde in which she speaks to the need of self-acceptance and love in a coalition, and work by Mari Matsuda in when she argues that coalitions need to be open-ended and must have a foundation of trust. Examination of their works show that there are multiple working models of feminist coalitions but that a comprehensive coalition theory requires a model of how coalitional members should interact with each other.

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