Gender Visibility and Erasure: Volume 33

Cover of Gender Visibility and Erasure
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Table of contents

(15 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xvi
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Part I: Gender Visibility and Erasure

Abstract

This introduction by the volume editors discusses the multiple ways in which visibility and erasure of gender are manifested in social life. Following that discussion, the 12 chapters included in this volume are grouped in ways that demonstrate the relationships among them and are briefly summarized.

Abstract

Few scholars become notable figures in their areas of specialization. Understanding how and why some scholars are identified by their unusual accomplishments, therefore, can be difficult, especially when some scholars achieve more notable careers and are invisible in their professions than others, more recognized colleagues. The reasons for some scholars’ visibility and their colleagues’ invisibility may be unclear or ambiguous. One common reason for invisibility is being a woman in a patriarchal discipline. Men’s ideas, values, and careers are privileged and more highly rated in a patriarchal subject like sociology.

Here, I analyze case studies of invisibility that emerge from deliberate suppression but focus on the more hidden processes of making women invisible in sociology. These less overt processes of invisibility require different theories, networks, and methods to discover the women’s notable careers than those used in examples of more overt processes.

Making invisible women visible requires multiple processes, over time, by a number of professionals and gatekeepers.

Part II: Embodiment, Visibility and Erasure

Abstract

The Fijian LGBTQI+ movement has significantly grown, shaped around a more significant Pacific identity. The participation of queer activists from the Indo-Fijian community, which represents about 35% of Fiji’s population, is limited, and the struggles, needs, and aspirations of this LGBTQI+ community are mainly invisible. This invisibility is framed within Fiji’s political conflicts. However, there is also a form of self-censorship due to cultural and religious barriers, as well as to dynamics that speak about the trauma of the indentured system and postcolonial violence. Contemporaneously, non-political spaces provide avenues for visibility. While some Indo-Fijian religious contexts welcome gender and sexual diversity forms, these are becoming visible aided by popular social media platforms and Bollywood cinema’s influence. This project explores the dynamics of the Indo-Fijian queer community within Fiji and its broader LGBTQI+ movement, aiming to identify barriers specific to their community and strategies for recognition, visibility, and participation in advocacy and activism. The project is approached as activist research and includes interviews and group discussions with Indo-Fijians self-identifying LGBTQI+.

Abstract

The current study examines the strategies that nonbinary people use to communicate their gender identities across contexts, including an exploration of how they modify their gender presentations in response to situations perceived as risky or unsafe. Data were drawn from interviews with 19 nonbinary people, and a modified grounded theory approach was used to identify prevalent or recurring elements in the data. Nonbinary people struggled to communicate their genders to others and felt constrained by the knowledge that others would inevitably interpret their gender presentations within the context of a strict binary. Moreover, they often felt pressure to enact normative, binary presentations in order to feel safer or less visibly gender-nonconforming, particularly in contexts in which social norms were experienced as heightened, such as when engaging with institutions or navigating public spaces such as restrooms or transit systems. This study contributes to the limited literature on nonbinary identities and highlights how dominant transnormative narratives constrain presentation and communication.

Abstract

Imperialism was, from its commencement, a racially and sexually gendered reality and the power differential among masculinities emerged in the master/slave relationship that characterized Empire. Hegemonic masculinity generated by the white conquistador birthed a resultant subordinate masculine identity that came to signify the non-White man – initially slave and, later, the free African laborer – in the New World. The subjectification of this non-White man, this Other, proved to be fundamental to the constitution of masculinity along racialized and sexualized frames, complementing how related ideologies functioned in a primarily economic enterprise underpinned by greed as the catalyst for the Conquistador’s actions. The impact? Almost indelible gender identity ramifications on the enslaved African and his offspring across the Caribbean diaspora. This chapter seeks to explore Empire-resultant and Empire-resistant constructions of masculine identity in Olive Senior’s “The View from the Terrace” and Paule Marshall’s “Barbados.” The overarching aim is to underscore that, in the postcolonial Caribbean, as the Afro-Saxon’s proclivity for all things White crumbles, the Afro-Creole man’s own emerging, defining and robust sense of self and masculine identity becomes visible.

Part III: Intersectionality, Visibility and Erasure

Abstract

Invisibility and inequality in the subjective experiences of Albanian migrant women in the Greek labor market have not been sufficiently studied. In times of crisis, mechanisms and social processes of marginalization are being strengthened and push women to new roles, expectations, and social positions. This chapter investigates how migrant women understand invisibility within their occupation, to what extent they feel relative deprivation and injustice when comparing their situation with others, and what this means for the reproduction of inequalities and the boundaries of social stratification. Qualitative research is conducted through a case study and 10 work history biographical interviews with Albanian migrant women, living and working in the Artemis community. Findings are analyzed in light of the socio-historical context of invisibility of migrant women workers in Greece, while the statistical analysis of changes in the occupational distribution provides a picture of the social landscape. Findings show evidence of the ethnic and gender segregation of the Greek labor market and a significant increase of informal and temporary work in low-status jobs in services. Invisibility is mainly experienced through the degradation of working conditions, flexibility, insecurity, and the concealed process of alienation. The economic crisis increases the dependencies; meanings and perceptions change towards reduced expectations. Comparisons with reference groups show increasing inequalities within the same social group, but feelings of injustice are felt more due to administrative barriers and discrimination. The chapter offers insights on the process of invisibility of migrant women and its significance for social stratification.

Abstract

This chapter conceptualizes forms and processes of erasure and visibility of migrant domestic workers through the analysis of interview data, media coverage, and public policy. This chapter builds on the existing literature on foreign domestic labor by synthesizing a framework to better represent the mechanisms that produce instances of visibility and erasure; these include transnational forces of erasure like sexism, xenophobia, and domestic labor stigma that interact with country-specific policies and norms. Within this framework of visibility and erasure, we also delineate different aspects of each, such as spatial erasure, erasure in the media, and self-erasure. Finally, this chapter explores how each of these components interconnect into a system of erasure, each aspect enabling another aspect in dampening the individuality of migrant domestic workers. This chapter is intended to illuminate the realities of erasure with careful specificity, while still crediting domestic workers for their resilience and creativity in promoting their own visibility.

Abstract

Age and gender intersect, often lowering quality of life for older women. Microlevel patterns include ignoring older women in one’s presence, flattening their identities to only their status as older women. Macrolevel patterns include the erasure of older women, with cultural (media) representations, organizational practices and policies and social policies that ignore the existence of older women or distort their characteristics in ways that diminish the likelihood of equitable treatment. Using autoethnography, conversations with a small group of older women, and scholarly and popular literature, we describe varieties of microlevel experiences and responses to them. Focusing on macrolevel erasure, we describe some of the effects of combined ageism and sexism, and we look at activists’ and organizational responses aimed at changing public awareness and attitudes toward age and gendering. Policy changes are suggested to make the social treatment of older women more equitable, including attention to housing, health care, and public education. We note specific past achievements that demonstrate policy change is possible.

Abstract

The sexual division of labor remains a strong, discriminatory aspect of Brazilian society, with a high percentage of women engaged in precarious, caregiving, and service work that is devalued within the traditional patriarchal family and school socialization. This chapter relates and analyzes the development of a multidisciplinary, intersectional, and interinstitutional project, Fast Girls, which addresses this situation of inequality and exclusion by promoting and strengthening learning in STEM and psychosocial dimensions for adolescent female students. It is currently deployed in three public schools on the outskirts of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, but the focus here will be on the pioneering initiative, in one high school which has reached 150 participants since 2013. This project was conducted by professors and researchers from the engineering, social sciences, and humanities departments of the University of Brasilia (UnB) in Brazil and France’s Sorbonne Paris North University who are the authors of this autoethnography, which is based on interventions, interviews, and field observations. Principle academic results included articles, dissertations, and expositions at related national and international events characterized by the integration of various scientific fields. The intervention prepared participants for college attendance who was both unprecedented in their families and contributed to their occupying a social and subjective place quite different from the majority of youths in black and poor communities around the capitals of Brazil.

Part IV: Gender-based Violence, Visibility and Erasure

Abstract

Domestic violence is the manifestation of gender and power within intimate and family relationships. How women make sense of their experience of violence may be influenced by the presence or absence of collective hermeneutical resources. In spaces where feminist interpretive resources are not available, women’s authentic experiences tend to be erased, misunderstood, and misrepresented even in institutions that are meant to protect them. This chapter critically examines one such institution – survey research. While surveys show the extent of a social problem, it is essential to examine whether surveys highlight or erase the various ways in which women struggle with violence. This leads to the questions: What hermeneutical resources do women have to make sense of their experience of violence? How do surveys erase or enhance collective understanding of women’s experience of violence? This chapter juxtaposes the findings about women’s attitudes toward domestic violence as measured by the Tamil Nadu National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2016 with ethnographic data gathered from rural Tamil Nadu, India. In the survey, more than 70% of the women justified domestic violence against women. In contrast, analysis of ethnographic data revealed that women rarely justified violence but rather struggled with violence in three ways – subverting violence, calibrating violence, and collaborating against violence. Where there were organizing structures, such as a union, women resorted to collaborative action. Thus, surveys that measure women’s attitudes toward domestic violence as static mind-sets erase how consciousness is an outcome of political organizing that provides marginalized groups with liberational interpretive resources.

Abstract

Sterilization is endorsed as a method of family planning by international governmental organizations; abortion is not. Focusing on policy development for these two issues in a single country, Peru, we ask how power and inequality operate under conditions of global consensus or dissensus. The case of sterilization unfolded the way many previous research studies would predict, with Peruvian state actions corresponding to a global diffusion process. We find that global consensus provided cover for top-down actions that violated the human rights of indigenous women in the country, who were predominantly poor, non-Spanish speakers, and residents of the mountainous, sparsely populated parts of the country. With respect to abortion in Peru, in the absence of global consensus, the state resisted calls for change, advocacy networks have worked at cross-purposes, and a powerful local actor, the Catholic Church, has effectively blocked liberalization efforts. As with sterilization, however, marginalized indigenous women and their interests were rendered invisible.

Abstract

This chapter develops analytical and comparative approaches on the advance of the sexual exploitation industry in Eurozone countries, addressing specific regulations and norms on what is called sex work (when regulated by the state) or prostitution (countries with abolitionist normative frameworks). Indeed, in scenarios of economic and health recession due to Covid-19, this issue is controversial and of urgency in the public agenda due to the scarcity of statistical records that can account for the impact of the sexual exploitation market on women and feminized bodies and in relation to gender equality and equity indexes, as well as public policies. As a working assumption, it is proposed that there is a “sociological erasure” on the impact of the sexual exploitation industry on populations of high social vulnerability. Methodologically, on the one hand, a comparative analysis of indicators relevant to gender equality and human rights is developed, using second-order data to compare European countries with antagonistic legal regulations on the sex market. On the other hand, the perceptions, discourses and representations of experts in the field and key informants related to the sex market are analyzed. Finally, it is concluded that coercive prostitution affects feminized corporalities, especially migrant and poor women. Therefore, prostitution should be considered a violation of human rights and should be evidenced as an emergent of gender violence. Information and analysis regarding this industry are required to know how to intervene and contribute to reach new levels of gender equality, and to provide timely assistance to those who need it, according to the objectives for the Eurozone established in agreement with UNICEF’s global Goal 5.

Part V: Concluding the Volume

Abstract

The objective of this discussion is to present an intersectional framework to better inform our reading and understanding of contemporary reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment. I posit that contemporary incidents of sexual violence must be read within the historical framework of slavery, where plantations served as the first site of sexual exploitation that has provided the ideological and practical scaffold for the continued erasure of the abuses of Black women and men in the workplace and under the law. This legacy, nonetheless, has yielded a coded language for according visibility to the “deep story” of rape and race in the United States.

Index

Pages 243-250
Content available
Cover of Gender Visibility and Erasure
DOI
10.1108/S1529-2126202233
Publication date
2022-08-15
Book series
Advances in Gender Research
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-80382-594-6
eISBN
978-1-80382-593-9
Book series ISSN
1529-2126