hard to justify. This recognition occurred as divisions, concerning the appropriate place for feminist activity, became entrenched. Some, such as Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright, attempted to transform labour politics from within, whilst others argued that a more open and democratic political movement was incompatible with old style labour or workerist political groups.
Corresponding to this demise of feminism as a political force was a consolidation of academic feminism (Oakley and Mitchell, 1986). Academic feminism has, in turn, been described as a de-radicalisation of feminist theory and this has been linked to the rise of ‘municipal feminism’, the filtering through of women and feminist theory into public institutions, including, but not exclusively, those of Higher Education (Lovenduski and Randall 1993). There are two main reasons why an increase in the mass of women in Higher Educational Institutions could be causally related to a de-radicalisation of feminist theory. The first refers us to the ways in which the institutional body manages to exert a determining influence on the type of work done. The second refers us to the type of academic theory which became prevalent. To take the first. An institution can be defined as a form of physical organisation which includes sedimented relations of power and lines of funding management. A certain ‘norm’ of academic practice and an image of an ‘ideal’ academic practitioner filter through. The rules of academic practice constrain and inform the content of the subject matter itself (Garry and Pearsall 1989 1 - 46). In addition to these problems, which are endemic to all form of academic enquiry, as Women’s Studies courses were gaining ground, the vicious spending cuts and casualisation programmes of the 80s and 90s took place. There is a prima facie case for arguing that the type of academic work which was done was the type which could be safely funded and published. Additionally, one institutional imperative is the teaching and learning strategy. One doesn’t need to be a Foucauldian to see how the pedagogical drive to construct a canon raises questions of inclusion and exclusion, genealogies and histories.