Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Barnum, Justin

Committee Member/Reader

Holyfield, Lori

Committee Member/Second Reader

Shelton, Gina

Committee Member/Third Reader

Stauss, Kim


The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1923, passed through both houses of Congress in 1972, but failed to be ratified by the number of states necessary to become a Constitutional amendment. There are numerous social, political, and economic factors that have contributed to the successes and failures of the ERA over the years, but little research has been done to determine how these individual instances influence one another long term. Utilizing the qualitative method of path dependency and research rooted in feminist theory, I examine the timeline of the ERA as it fits within the greater feminism timeline. Though each stage of the movement may seem independent, they all build upon one another. Based on the events of each era, the Equal Rights Amendment has been most successful amidst the rise of social movements, prominent feminist literature, increasing numbers of women in federal and state government office, and increasing numbers of women in the workforce. The comparison across time speaks to the future of the amendment as well. Given the current status of the ERA and the presence of these common factors, the amendment could see its ultimate success in the near future.


Equal Rights Amendment, feminist theory, social movements, feminist movement