Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

John McMillian

Second Advisor

Wendy Venet

Abstract

Although previous scholars have addressed the legislative parameters of the Equal Rights Amendment debate in non-ratifying states, analysis of amendment supporters’ rhetoric has been limited. Examining the public and private writings of activists, This thesis presents the argument that pro-ERA coalitions in Georgia addressed the concerns of their opponents and developed rhetoric that deemphasized connections to the radical women’s liberation movement and argued that the ERA would enact legal, rather than social, change. While the educational materials produced by pro-ERA coalitions presented a logical analysis of the amendment’s legal ramifications, the personal discourse of Georgia activists presented an emotional defense of the amendment that has often been overlooked in previous studies.

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