Mary P. Ryan, Women in Public: Between Banners and Ballots, 1825-1880, 1990.

Ryan’s book explores themes similar to those she laid out in her chapter in Habermas and the Public Sphere, most notably the emergence and expansion of women’s public sphere, though with significantly greater depth and detail. Looking at female actors and conceptualizations of gender in nineteenth-century New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, Ryan examines the ways in which this formally disfranchised population participated in politics and obtained political power and eventually the vote. She also studies such issues as the differing roles and divisions between different kinds of women (such as ladies versus prostitutes), the link between gender and ethnicity in female political culture, and the multiplicity of forms that female political participation assumed. This source would offer valuable insight for me in future investigations of the counterpublics and activism of marginalized people.

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