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Mothers of ConservatismWomen and the Postwar Right$
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Michelle M. Nickerson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691121840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691121840.001.0001

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(p.169) Conclusion
Mothers of Conservatism

Michelle M. Nickerson

Princeton University Press

The concluding chapter examines how housewife populist ideology influenced a new generation of conservative female activists, and questions how the history of women on the right might bring useful scrutiny to the categories and assumptions that frame U.S. feminist and political history. It argues that housewife populism continues to shape conservative beliefs about women's importance to society and American politics, as the career of Alaska's former governor, Sarah Palin, illustrates. After Barack Obama won the election in 2008, Palin's populist style carried over into the conservative Tea Party movement, an alliance of organizations and bloggers that emerged in opposition to government-sponsored economic stimulus, health-care reform, and numerous other grievances directed against the Democratic administration and Congress. The endurance of housewife populist ideology demands that scholars pay closer attention to the ambiguities and paradoxes that conservative women have managed to reconcile and marshal to their own interests, in much the way that suffragists and other skillful political actors in American history achieved their goals.

Keywords:   conservative movement, housewife populist ideology, conservative women, female activists, conservative females, female activists

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