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Letting Go
Feminist and Social Justice Insight and Activism

Editor(s): Donna King, Catherine G. Valentine

At a time when women are being exhorted to “lean in” and work harder to get ahead, Letting Go: Feminist and Social Justice Insight and Activism encourages both women and men to “let go” instead. The book explores alternatives to the belief that individual achievement, accumulation, and attention-seeking are the road to happiness and satisfaction in life. Letting go demands a radical recognition that the values, relationships, and structures of our neoliberal (competitive, striving, accumulating, consuming, exploiting, oppressive) society are harmful both on a personal level and, especially important, on a social and environmental level.

There is a huge difference between letting go and “chilling out.” In a lean-in society, self-care is promoted as something women and men should do to learn how to “relax” and find a comfortable work-life balance. By contrast, a feminist letting-go and its attendant self-care have the potential to be a radical act of awakening to social and environmental injustice and a call to activism.


Biography of Editor(s)

Donna King, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is author of Doing Their Share to Save the Planet: Children and Environmental Crisis and coeditor of Men Who Hate Women and Women Who Kick Their Asses: Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy in Feminist Perspective (also published by Vanderbilt).
Catherine (Kay) G. Valentine, Professor Emerita of Sociology and founding director of women’s studies at Nazareth College, is coeditor of The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities.