Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Desmond Goss

Second Advisor

Dr. Wendy Simonds

Third Advisor

Dr. Deirdre Oakley


Using feminist standpoint theory and queer theory as a theoretical framework, I perform a secondary analysis of in-depth interviews conducted with a racially diverse group of sexual and gender minorities (SGM) on their definitions of feminism. I use abductive grounded theory to generate my findings. First, I use a deductive coding approach to compare SGM definitions to existing patterns in feminist research. Next, I use inductive line-by-line descriptive coding to provoke emergent themes. My findings indicate that SGM definitions of feminism share characteristics with the mostly white, cisgender, and heterosexual definitions of past research, such as support for women’s empowerment in a patriarchal society and working towards gender equality through activism; however, in contrast to past inquiry, SGM respondents were overwhelmingly resistant to racism, homophobia, and transphobia within “mainstream” feminism. As such, I urge future researchers to explore feminist identification intersectionally, accounting for the interplay of multiple identity characteristics.


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