Passionately political peace activist parents: Nurturing the world while politicizing the family

Date of Completion

January 2001


Political Science, General|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies




Despite the attempt of feminists to move theorizing away from falsely dichotomized notions of the public/private, rational/emotional, political/personal discourses much research on both social movements and family maintains the assumptions of non-political families and non-familied activists. In an attempt to move beyond such binary thinking, this thesis, based on interviews with forty-five peace activist parents, explores the consequences of peace activism on the lives of families and the effect of family life on movement participation. ^ Acknowledging activists as familied-persons and parents as political actors this study explores passionate commitment as the integration of emotionality, rationality and action as the foundation of long-term engagement in the peace movement. In addition it provides evidence that the family-activist interaction may be a more salient factor in determining how one's political ideology is translated into personal practices than either the type or degree of activist involvement. This investigation of the interplay of social activism and parenting is intended to expand the discussions among those who insist that real social change comes about only when people live within their homes the ideals they strive for in the world. ^