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Abstract

In recent decades there has been considerable debate about the role and meaning of feminism in younger women's lives. Feminism can be understood as an empowering discourse, fostering critical awareness and resistance to dominant social norms. However, it can also be experienced as regulatory and disciplinary, clearly defining who and what constitutes a "good" feminist. Utilizing Michel Foucault's principle of care of the self, this paper analyzes women's body practices in relation both to women's interpretation of feminism and to dominant feminist discourses. The complexities of negotiating diverse social identities, as well as women's desire for a happier life and greater self-worth, provide some important nuances to contemporary debates about feminism.

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