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Abstract

The radical movements of the 60's were punctuated by the revival of feminism. As the movements demanded that disenfranchised citizens be allowed to actively participate in societal decisionmaking, women became cognizant of the fact that even within the movements they continued to be relegated to second class status. This realization served as a catalyst for the reemergence of the women's movement within American society. Feminist ideas spread rapidly among the social movements. Women neld political meetings to discuss social inequities and their impact upon womannood. From these meetings consciousness-raising groups evolved as a forum to raise non-movement women's consciousness of their oppression through social support and the sharing of experiences. Tne members of consciousness-raising groups founded more feminist groups and by the end of 1969 the women's movement had become nationally known.

Feminist organizations and groups have often affiliated into coalitions to strengthen and unify the smaller groups and to provide a broader base for social action. As the issues have become more delineated, the coalitions have supported the growth of alternative services for women. In the 70's numerous organizations have been founded to serve previously neglected women in such areas as abortion, health care, woman battering, rape and alcoholism. These organizations are alternatives to the conventional human services which have been ineffective in understanding and solving women's problems.

The purpose of this paper is to identify salient dimensions which differentiate women's alternative organizations and conventional human services; to identify and discuss select problems of feminist service groups; and to present strategies that enhance the survival potential of women's services.

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