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Abstract

This article provides an overview of sociological research on three aspects of feminism: feminism as an ideology; feminism as an identity; and feminism as a practice. I summarize the main contributions of sociological research in each of these areas, and highlight the overarching contributions for understanding contemporary feminism. Three contributions are key. First, sociological research highlights the existence multiple varieties of feminism –“feminisms” as opposed to a singular “feminism.” Second, this research reveals that feminist ideologies, identities, and movements are each dynamic – they have changed historically, and continue to change in response to shifting socio-political, economic, and technological landscapes. Third, sociological research demonstrates that feminism is alive and well, and in many senses thriving, in the contemporary United States. Though some aspects of feminism are more widespread than others, sociological research challenges the notion that feminism, on the whole, has declined. As an ideology, an identity, and a practice, feminism remains strong in the contemporary United States.