Sociology has paid insufficient attention to third world women's movements. In this review, for which we draw upon a variety of interdisciplinary sources, we focus on three questions: the issue of women's interests; the conditions under which women mobilize—particularly the effects of democratization, nationalist, religious, and socialist movements; and the issue of state and organizational autonomy. We argue that the concept of a political opportunity structure inadequately captures the role that states in the third world play in determining the possibilities of third world women's movements. We call for more comparative work with a focus on the local rather than on the macro level. This will help us to better understand both the ways in which women's collective identities and interests are constructed and the ideological and material conditions under which mobilizations actually take place.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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