Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ronald C. Kramer

Second Advisor

Dr. Paula Brush

Third Advisor

Dr. Gwen Raaberg


Literary studies meets up with sociology as feminist utopian fiction Is examined for what sociologist Dorothy Smith (1990) labels normal narrative and counter-narrative articulations of gendered structures of power. The method of analytical Induction Is used both In the choosing of the four novels for study and the resulting textual analysis. Ursula Le Guln's The dispossessed (1974), Marge Plercy's Woman on the edge of time (1976), Suzy McKee Chamas's Motherllnes (1978), and Sally Miller Gearhart's The wandereround (1979) are examined for their constructions of dystopian normal narratives, as well as for their reconstructions of subversive utopian counter-narratives, both articulating gendered structures of power. Four key structural categories were found to be the fictional sites for articulations of gendered power relations: (1) sexuality, (2) gender, (3) reproduction and childrearing, and (4) violence. Collectively, these four structural categories can be classified as sexual politics.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access