Designing Feminist Resilience

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Book Chapter

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When chapter author Patrice Buzzanell first came to feminism in the very early 1990s, she could not foresee how taking a feminist analytic lens would underlie everything she did. As an organizational communication scholar specializing in career theory and practice, she found herself reflecting backwards and forwards to uncover where, when, how, and why possibilities for full participation and equity in organizational and other contexts could occur. A 1994 Management Communication Quarterly article was pivotal for her scholarship, teaching, and advocacy because it sorted through issues and rationales underlying gender discrimination as well as strategies for making change on individual through institutional and societal levels. Drawing from the Communication Theory of Resilience (CTR), feminist resilience is constituted through language and interaction, cultivated in human fragility, and changeable-sustainable through feminist human-centered design ethics. CTR was originally conceptualized as an interpretive process theory with critical leanings. With feminist repositioning, the five processes can offer possibilities for navigating today’s complex and politically fraught world. These five processes are: crafting normalcy, backgrounding negative emotions while foregrounding productive action, affirming identity anchors, putting alternative logics to work, and maintaining and using communication networks.

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Designing Feminist Resilience, in S. Eckert & I. Bachmann (Eds.), Reflections on Feminist Communication and Media Scholarship: Theory, Method, Impact, Routledge, p. 43-58