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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2018

Silvia de Simone, Daniela Putzu, Diego Lasio and Francesco Serri

Despite the ongoing increase of women in the top positions, they are still underrepresented in politics. The studies that primarily focus on women’s underrepresentation in…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the ongoing increase of women in the top positions, they are still underrepresented in politics. The studies that primarily focus on women’s underrepresentation in politics neglect the role of gender as a category that structures and makes sense of social practices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the contemporary gender order in politics through discourse analysis and the contribution of the critical feminist perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on 30 biographical interviews with Italian politicians and focuses on the account of their political experiences and on the meanings attributed to these.

Findings

The results of this paper underline the tendency to either absolve or blame women for gender inequality in politics through different interpretative repertoires: “Women’s disinterest toward politics,” “Politics as masculine context” and “Politics–family unbalance.” The analysis allowed to unravel the way in which the discursive practices create and reproduce the hegemonic gender order in politics.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to 30 qualitative interviews, and so results cannot be generalized.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper highlight the importance of exploring issues relating to the gender gap in politics and stress the need to implement actions to promote gender equality in politics.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to an understanding of women’s underrepresentation in politics and offers causes for reflection on a phenomenon that has profound implications for our society.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 July 2007

Živa Humer

This chapter explores the Slovenian equal opportunities policy in the context of globalization debates. Focusing mainly on the equal opportunities legislation in Slovenia…

Abstract

This chapter explores the Slovenian equal opportunities policy in the context of globalization debates. Focusing mainly on the equal opportunities legislation in Slovenia and the other recent European Union (EU) member states, the aim of the chapter is to reflect upon globalization as Europeanization and as supraterritorialization. Supraterritorial processes, such as the second wave of Western feminist movement established a mutual relationship with feminists in the former Yugoslavia during the 1980s. Feminism and the feminist movement in Yugoslavia and in Slovenia in the 1980s and in the beginning of the 1990s, in particular, represent an important basis for gender equality politics and legislation in Slovenia. Another significant element that contributes to the introduction of gender equality legislation is EU integration. In Slovenia and also in other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that recently joined the European Union, the accession played a considerable role in adopting gender equality legislation. Europeanization in the context of equal opportunities policy leads to the homogenization process of standards for gender equality in the EU member states. In terms of legislation in member countries, the Europeanization of gender equality policy is performed as top-down politics particularly in recent member states, such as CEE. Using the example of gender equality policy in Slovenia, this chapter analyzes equal opportunities policy as a concept and as a legal mechanism emerging from the Western tradition, which was directly applied to CEE countries, such as Slovenia, when they joined the EU.

Details

Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1457-7

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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2016

Jennifer Carlson

Drawing on interviews with men and women gun carriers, this paper considers the intersection of femininity and guns. It argues that two sets of expectations shape the…

Abstract

Drawing on interviews with men and women gun carriers, this paper considers the intersection of femininity and guns. It argues that two sets of expectations shape the normative relationship between women and guns: First, armed women are a blind spot in feminist discourse, which tends to reproduce the “pacifist presumption” that women are nonviolent caretakers and peacemakers. Second, contemporary pro-gun discourse often bases women’s gun carry within their duties and obligations as mothers in a form of “martial maternalism.” Inflected with a post-feminist appropriation of rights and equality, this pro-gun discourse reproduces gender binaries through a discourse of gender inclusivity. Following previous analyses that emphasize the contradictory politics of gender in conservative spaces, my analysis emphasizes how the gendered politics of guns is sustained by multiple, though not necessarily shared, understandings of women’s guns by men and women within American gun culture.

Details

Perverse Politics? Feminism, Anti-Imperialism, Multiplicity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-074-9

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Birte Siim

The aim of the article is to discuss the challenges from immigration to Nordic (gender) politics, theories and research. The research question is to what extent Nordic…

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2570

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the article is to discuss the challenges from immigration to Nordic (gender) politics, theories and research. The research question is to what extent Nordic welfare and gender equality politics is based on exclusive solidarity biased towards the native majorities. A key issue is how Nordic gender theory and research has addressed multiple inequalities. The article briefly revisits the academic debates about gender equality, diversity and multiculturalism, which arguably represent two different paradigms: multicultural approaches have addressed the accommodation of minorities with diversity as the key concept, while feminist approaches have focused on gender (in)equality with gender as the key concept.

Design/methodology/approach

The intersectional approach suggests that increased migration and mobility present similar challenges for the two bodies of thought to address complex and multiple inequalities within and beyond the nation state. The main part explores “the multicultural dilemma” in greater detail focusing on the intersections between gender and etho‐national minorities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Findings

Perceptions of diversity and gender equality/women's rights are contextual and dynamic as intersecting diversities and inequalities are embedded in national histories, institutions and policies. Scholars have demonstrated that the discourse about women's rights and gender equality has become an intrinsic part of Nordic identities and belongings. The article suggests that the new forms of inequalities among women can be interpreted as a Nordic gender equality paradox between the relative inclusion of the native majority women and the relative marginalization of women from diverse ethnic minorities in society.

Originality/value

The intersectionality approach to gender and ethnicity in Scandinavia is in this article combined with a transnational approach to gender, diversity and migration.

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2021

Lyndsay M.C. Hayhurst, Holly Thorpe and Megan Chawansky

Abstract

Details

Sport, Gender and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-863-0

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Timothy Laurie

This paper aims to bring together feminist philosophy, phenomenology, and masculinity studies to consider the gendered formation of ethical practices, focusing on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to bring together feminist philosophy, phenomenology, and masculinity studies to consider the gendered formation of ethical practices, focusing on the construction of “male” and “female” identities in quotidian social encounters. While scholarship on masculinity has frequently focused on hegemonic modes of behaviour or normative gender relations, less attention has been paid to the “ethics of people I know” as informal political resources, ones that shapes not only conversations about how one should act (“people I know don’t do that”), but also about the diversity of situations that friends, acquaintances or strangers could plausibly have encountered (“that hasn’t happened to anyone I know”).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper rethinks mundane social securities drawing on Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir, and Sara Ahmed to consider anecdotal case studies around gender recognition and political practice, and in doing so also develops the notion of interpellation in relation to everyday ethical problems.

Findings

The paper suggests that inquiry into diverse modes of quotidian complicities – or what de Beauvoir calls the “snares” of a deeply human liberty – can be useful for describing the mixtures of sympathy, empathy, and disavowal in the performance of pro-feminist and queer-friendly masculinities or masculinist identities. It also suggests that the adoption of an “anti-normative” politics is insufficient for negotiating the problems of description and recognition involved in the articulation of gendered social experiences.

Originality/value

This paper approaches questions around political identification commonly considered in queer theory from the viewpoint of descriptive practices themselves, and thus reorients problems of recognition and interpellation towards the expression of ethical statements, rather than focusing solely on the objects of such statements.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 February 2012

Vibeke Heidenreich

Why did Sweden and Norway arrive at different conclusions with regards to the introduction of corporate gender quotas? The chapter points to two decisive and interwoven…

Abstract

Why did Sweden and Norway arrive at different conclusions with regards to the introduction of corporate gender quotas? The chapter points to two decisive and interwoven explanations.

First, there is a question of varieties of capitalism – even within the Scandinavian model: The strong and traditionally socially responsible Swedish business life enjoyed more autonomy than their Norwegian counterpart, making it harder for the Swedish state to interfere in business life. In Norway, on the other hand, the state was a dominant capitalist itself whereas private owners in general were small and dispersed. Consequently, the capacity of the state to interfere in business life was larger, compared to Sweden.

Second, there is a matter of different cultures concerning gender equality and the attitudes towards state intervention: In Norway, an established gender quota tradition and rather positive attitudes towards state intervention created a moderate discursive climate in gender equality matters. A discursive tradition accepting women as a group as different from men as a group gave politicians a larger scope of action concerning gender equality measures directed at women only. In Sweden, the discursive climate was more hostile towards state intervention, and there was a less strong tradition for legally imposing gender quotas. In addition, Swedish feminists were active and conflict-oriented, thereby creating a polarized gender equality discussion in a public life traditionally oriented towards consensus-based solutions to political discrepancies.

Details

Firms, Boards and Gender Quotas: Comparative Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-672-0

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Karin Klenke

Abstract

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Women in Leadership 2nd Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-064-8

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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2016

Ann Shola Orloff and Talia Shiff

In recent decades, it is possible to point to a new and evolving debate among analysts of sexuality, political economy, and culture, focused on the implications of…

Abstract

In recent decades, it is possible to point to a new and evolving debate among analysts of sexuality, political economy, and culture, focused on the implications of feminism’s changing relations to institutions of state power and law in the United States. According to these analysts, to whom we refer as the critics of feminism in power, the alliances formed between some feminists and neoliberal and conservative elites, coupled with the installation of feminist ideas in law and state institutions problematize the once commonly held assumption, shared by second-wave feminists, that all women, regardless of differences in social location, face certain kinds of exclusions. With women entering formal positions of power from states to NGOs to corporations, this assumption cannot stand. Critical analysts of feminists in power insist that we consider the implications of advancing a feminist politics not from the margins of society but from within the precincts of power. They shine a light on a change in feminism’s relation to institutions of state power and law as reflected in new political alliances forming between feminists and neoliberal and conservative elites, and the political and discursive uses to which feminist ideas and ideals have been put. Building on work on inequalities and hierarchies among women, these critics take up specifically political questions concerning the kind of feminist politics to be promoted in today’s changed gendered landscape. Perhaps most notably, they make explicit a concern shared by radical political movements more generally: what does it mean when the ideas of those who were once considered political outsiders become institutionalized within core sites of state power and law? At the same time, the very broad-brush narratives concerning the cooptation of feminism by neoliberalism put forth by some of these analysts could be complemented with historical and empirical research on specific instances of feminism’s reciprocal, though still unequal, relationship with neoliberalism and state power.

Details

Perverse Politics? Feminism, Anti-Imperialism, Multiplicity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-074-9

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Sue Ledwith

This paper aims to examine the role and experiences of women working in the industrial relations (IR) academy and to explore the recent claim that the subject of…

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1436

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role and experiences of women working in the industrial relations (IR) academy and to explore the recent claim that the subject of industrial relations has “been very receptive to the contributions of feminist analysis”.

Design/methodology/approach

An examination is made of the liminal position of women IR scholars in the IR academy and their concern for feminist and gender analysis. Parallels are drawn with IR and trade unions, focusing mainly on Britain, which also occupy, simultaneously, insider and outsider spaces. This approach draws on the relevant literature and is then tested through a questionnaire survey of women scholars working in the field, the author included, together with interviews and interactive discussions about the findings.

Findings

Gender politics remain highly contested in the IR academy, with women and their work experiencing considerable marginalisation and exclusion. Nevertheless women IR scholars display a high level of commitment to the field, especially its emphasis on policy and practice. The conclusion is that so far, a “gender turn” has yet to occur in the field in the way that women's studies is claimed as being part of a new knowledge movement.

Research limitations

A limitation of the study is a relatively low response rate to the questionnaire, with a bias towards older, more senior women academics.

Originality/value

For probably the first time the role and experiences in the IR academy of women researchers/ academics are examined and published. The study reveals that the exclusion and sexism experienced there closely reflect the gender and diversity analyses in the IR field.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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