Paradoxes of professionalization parallel dilemmas in women's organizations in the Americas

Lisa Markowitz, Karen W. Tice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


During the past two decades, opportunities for women's social movement organizations to expand their scope of engagement have often been accompanied by greater vulnerability to donor discipline and scrutiny. Efforts by activists to accommodate the demands for accountability and institutional attainability by professionalizing their organizations have been instrumental in moving feminist concerns into the political mainstream. However, such institutionalization has frequently contributed to the persistence or creation of social hierarchies within and between women's organizations, as well as to shifts in their social change agendas and action strategies. This article examines the common dilemmas of activists in Latin America and the United States, bringing together two usually separate domains of scholarship to analyze the course, costs, and possibilities of organizational transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-958
Number of pages18
JournalGender and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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