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Although the material currently in this page is correct, sources are required for several statements that are not provided as the article is structured now (early lines, main body). Due to the article's current lack lack of historical perspective (mention of historical precedents, influences), expansion on political effects/narritive, and lack counter-arguments/perspectives on the issue and criticisms would argue for a rewrite in a scholarly rather than admiring tone. Thoughts? CaptainSquirvy (talk) 16:09, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
This entry needs to be substantially rewritten. An original paper called "A Program for Feminist Consciousness Raising" was written in November 1968 by Kathie Amatniek (also known as Kathie Sarachild)--a founding member of the seminal second wave feminist organizations New York Radical Women and Redstockings. It was presented at the First National Women's Liberation Conference in Lake Villa, IL on Thanksgiving of that same year.
While the concept of "consciousness raising" has historical antecedants as diverse as Willian Gilbert in 1628, Ernestine Rose in 1860, Mao Zedong in 1937 and Malcolm X in 1964, it was second wave feminists that popularized the phrase as it came to be understood--not Students for a Democratic Society. To feminists its meaning was summarized in Feminist Revolution published by Redstockings in 1978: "The only methods of consciousness raising are essentially principles. They are the basic radical political principles of going to the original sources, both historic and personal, going to people--women themselves, and going to experience for theory and strategy."
For more information, check the Redstockings website: http://www.redstockings.org. - User:Jpramas
Considering that much of the material in this correction is far more accurate than the article itself, why not integrate it, or at least turn it into a stub for a new version? - DawnDavenport
The title of this entry is wrong. "Consciousness raising," throughout this entry and in the entry's title, needs a hyphen, i.e., consciousness-raising, according to its earliest and most frequent usage--see [Redstockings website]. User:Jpramas
I disagree with part of the above comment, "it was second wave feminists that popularized the phrase as it came to be understood--not Students for a Democratic Society."
During the 1960s, I attended courses in revolutionary psychology in college. The teachers described it as a general technique and also described how they had identified the women's movement as their next target for using it. They had, in their own words, already applied it to the forming of SDS and tens of other issue, culture or racially centered radicalization actions.
The core theme of revolutionary psychology courses was to create a revolution you have to create a unified state of alienation that expresses itself both in language and as a socially positive movement in the face of an inherently evil society that needs enlightenment and eventually, if necessary, change by force. In the courses they outlined how to create an alienated and revolutionary populous using a technique called “Consciousness Raising.”
Consciousness raising, as they taught it, is based upon the transference of actual, but potentially innocent, experience into an iterative series of perceived experiences of social repression. These experiences result in a target's personal alienation from their primary society and their attachment to a new and enlightened, evolved or better informed revolutionaly subculture.
These new enlightened feel alienated from other members of their primary society because citizens in the primary society are still uninformed, spiritually unenlightened and socially un-evolved and, therefore, part of the mechanisms of repression/oppression. They see their primary society as needing to be converted or punished. They consider efforts to undo their social engineering as based upon hate, racism or an irrational inability to grasp reality such as denial or psychological deficiency. They clearly believe that if they can just make the case one more time you will finally get it and join them. It never occurs that the entire idea might be a manipulation, be disagreed with or just simply be a fantasy.
Democratic societies typically react to extreme statements about social issues with apologetics about an issue being, at least partially, real and those alienated having a valid point. Activist or radical movement leaders then constantly use those apologetics as proof that even the unenlightened have to acknowledge that the mechanism of repression is real and any solution to it, therefore, can only be expressed in their terms. It is in that transferance of a removed but remote reality of oppression to a direct and immediate expereince of repression that is the activist trigger.
It is very true that Kathie Sarachild's comments, as mentioned above, provide a clear insight into how it was applied to the women's movement. She also validates the core tenants of the underlying psychological theory of consciouosness raising,
"The people who started consciousness-raising did not see themselves as beginners at politics, including, in many cases, feminism. Yet they intended consciousness-raising as much for themselves as for people who really were beginners. Consciousness-raising was seen as both a method for arriving at the truth and a means for action and organizing. It was a means for the organizers themselves to make an analysis of the situation, and also a means to be used by the people they were organizing and who were in turn organizing more people" [Sarachild, Kathie. "Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon," in Feminist Revolution, New York: Random House, c1978, pp.144-150].
BTW, The people who taught this stuff to all the revolutionary factions of the 60s never used a hyphen. c
Edited to remove "rap" and "rapping." "Rap" etymologically means "fast read" or "spoke fast". It may be from a shortening of repartee. Women in consciousness raising groups did not rap. Even if rap had been common in the late 1960s, consciousness raising groups encouraged reflection and listening, not repartee. Sharon Villines 14:07, 7 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sharonvillines (talk • contribs)
- I recall the verb rap from the 1960s but in the Black community and meant for personal talk in rap sessions (I can't define it precisely) and probably preceding the rise of feminist consciousness raising, which may have had a different format and was largely held among white women. Rapping among Blacks may have been a way to see the effects of societal politics on personal lives and to see the similarity of lives among numbers of Black people (back then I don't think the terms Afro- and African(-)American were in use yet). I don't have a source; it may be possible to find one from literature about the period. In this context, speak and talk may be clearer terms. I don't know whether most CR groups used the term rap; my guess is a few did but most didn't. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:04, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Merger with Awareness campaign
The articles Consciousness raising and Awareness campaign do not distinguish their subjects from one another. "Raising consciousness" and "raising awareness" are two terms for the same form of activism: the attempt to effect social change by educating the general public. Because these two articles have the same subject, they should be merged. Neelix (talk) 13:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)