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Reframing Activism: Nursing and Social Action in the United States

Reframing Activism: Nursing and Social Action in the United States REFRAMING ACTIVISM: NURSING AND SOCIAL ACTION IN THE UNITED STATES Guest Editor’s Note In April 2008, the members of the Sigerist Circle invited a group of historians of nursing to present their ideas about nursing and activism at its annual meet- ing, held in conjunction with that of the American Association for the History of Medicine. We were all challenged with writing about what “activism” meant, and as Patricia D’Antonio wrote in her 2009 editorial of Nursing History Review , “We tried to unpack the trope of activism by wondering about the ways in which more ordinary nurses we studied thought about the social and politi- cal implications of their own actions.” One of the questions I asked, as the panel’s commentator, was: Is activism a religion? Are those who worked actively for social change in health care akin to evangelicals, religiously focused and tenacious until the goal is met? For example, Margaret Sanger, the early twentieth-century nurse and fervent birth control activist, was jailed for her illegal activity promoting and provid- ing birth control, calling it “her religion.” I asked also: Are there distinctions to be made between radicalism and reformism, between revolutionaries and activists? Is this even http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Reframing Activism: Nursing and Social Action in the United States

Nursing History Review , Volume 18 (1): 3 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.18.81
Publisher site
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Abstract

REFRAMING ACTIVISM: NURSING AND SOCIAL ACTION IN THE UNITED STATES Guest Editor’s Note In April 2008, the members of the Sigerist Circle invited a group of historians of nursing to present their ideas about nursing and activism at its annual meet- ing, held in conjunction with that of the American Association for the History of Medicine. We were all challenged with writing about what “activism” meant, and as Patricia D’Antonio wrote in her 2009 editorial of Nursing History Review , “We tried to unpack the trope of activism by wondering about the ways in which more ordinary nurses we studied thought about the social and politi- cal implications of their own actions.” One of the questions I asked, as the panel’s commentator, was: Is activism a religion? Are those who worked actively for social change in health care akin to evangelicals, religiously focused and tenacious until the goal is met? For example, Margaret Sanger, the early twentieth-century nurse and fervent birth control activist, was jailed for her illegal activity promoting and provid- ing birth control, calling it “her religion.” I asked also: Are there distinctions to be made between radicalism and reformism, between revolutionaries and activists? Is this even

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2010

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