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Abstract

The recent setbacks imposed on the feminist movement by the forces of the New Right have led women to an increased understanding of the importance of power in maintaining male dominance. Although men exercise power over women in a variety of ways, a review of the findings of social psychology indicates that almosL all types of power derive from men's activities in the public sphere. The exercise of power has become a part of the male gender role and a primary source of men's identity and self esteem. The feminist movement's challenge to men's exclusive hold on the public sphere and its efforts to appropriate the sources of male power for women have provoked a massive retaliation from conservatives which is reflected in the policies of the Reagan Administration.

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