Feminist Ethics and the Degree of Bureaucratic Organization in Asian Pacific Islander Women's Shelters in Los Angeles


Suzanne Im

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This study opens up a discussion of the feminist ethics of Asian Pacific Islander (API) women who are involved in the battered women's movement, based on their occupation within domestic violence agencies. Additionally, there is an examination of the manner in which these ethics are reflected in each respective organizational structure. Central to the research is the understanding that feminist organizational qualities are not simply limited to "collectivism versus bureaucracy". In not limiting the scope of analysis, the recognition that feminism as an identity is a malleable and varied construct is integrated. The research is based upon in-depth interviews with four women from three domestic violence shelters in the Los Angeles County. As can be concluded from the sample, the API battered women's movement is characterized by fluid factors such as personalities, time commitment, and a general desire to address the problem of domestic violence rather than an unequivocal commitment to any well-defined political philosophy. Also, within the shelters there evidently has not been a transformation from a principally collectivist grassroots structure toward a bureaucratic practice. Rather, a complement of collectivist and bureaucratic approaches effectively respond to changing internal and external dynamics.


M. Horowitz




Support provided by:Lilly Foundation Values and Vocations Project Fellowship

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