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Gender Analysis

Contested Encounters: Toward a Twenty-First-Century African Feminist Ethnography

Citation:

Makana, Selina. 2018. "Contested Encounters: Toward a Twenty-First-Century African Feminist Ethnography." Meridians 17 (2): 361-75.

Author: Selina Makana

Abstract:

This essay reflects upon both the predicaments and the promises of feminist ethnography in contemporary Africa from the position of an African feminist researcher. Two key questions guide the analysis: What are productive ways to respond to feminist critiques of representing the African woman “other”? What are the promises, if any, of African feminist ethnography documenting the histories of women on the continent? This essay argues that African feminist ethnography is a productive methodology that helps to highlight knowledge production about women’s lives in their specific sociopolitical, ethnolinguistic, religious, and economic contexts. To highlight the significance and limits of reflexivity and the idiosyncrasies of ethnographic research, this essay calls for a different way of naming the encounters between researchers and their participants. It therefore proposes naming this energy the ebb and flow of fieldwork research because this metaphor helps to destabilize and move beyond the rigid binaries of insider/outsider that have traditionally characterized power relations in fieldwork.

Topics: Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, intersectionality, Race, Religion Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Saving Nigerian Girls: A Critical Reflection on Girl-Saving Campaigns in the Colonial and Neoliberal Eras

Citation:

George, Abosede. 2018. "Saving Nigerian Girls: A Critical Reflection on Girl-Saving Campaigns in the Colonial and Neoliberal Eras." Meridians 17 (2): 309-24.

Author: Abosede George

Abstract:

This essay discusses girl-saving campaigns in Nigerian history, focusing on the two that have been most extensively documented: the girl hawker project of the early twentieth century, which climaxed with the 1943 passage of the first hawking ban in Nigeria, and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which started in 2014 and is still ongoing. Though separated by time and space, in order to inspire salvationist impulses in their respective audiences both campaigns have relied on a gendered notion of imperilment that centers the image of the youthful female body threatened by sexual violence from male aggressors. Yet through its reliance on certain restrictions, gendered and otherwise, the portrait of the vulnerable girl that campaigners outline inadvertently prompts disidentifications as well.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Girls, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2018

Margins, Silences, and Bottom Rungs: How to Overcome the Underestimation of Power in the Study of International Relations

Citation:

Enloe, Cynthia. 2004. “Margins, Silences, and Bottom Rungs: How to Overcome the Underestimation of Power in the Study of International Relations.” In The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire, 19–42. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Author: Cynthia Enloe

Annotation:

Summary: 
When I think about what it is that seems so unrealistic (yes, that loaded term) in most formal analyses of international politics, what strikes me is how far their authors are willing to go in underestimating the amounts and varieties of power it takes to form and sustain any given set of relationships between states. This conclusion, of course, rings oddly. So many analysts, after all, profess to be interested chiefly in power – who has it, how they got it, what they try to do with it. Their profession notwithstanding, I believe that by concentrating so single-mindedly on what is referred to euphemistically as the ‘centre’, scores of analysts have produced a naive portrait of how international politics really (there's that tricky concept again) work.
 
No individual or social group finds themselves on the ‘margins’ of any web of relationships – a football league, an industry, an empire, a military alliance, a state – without some other individual or group having accumulated enough power to create the ‘centre’ somewhere else. Beyond its creation, too, there is the yearly and daily business of maintaining the margin where it currently is and the centre where it now is. It is harder for those at the alleged centre to hear the hopes, fears and explanations of those on the margins, not because of physical distance – the margin may be two blocks from the White House, four stops on the Paris metro from the Quai d'Orsay – but because it takes resources and access to be ‘heard’ when and where it matters. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2004

A Wealth of Expertise and Lived Experience

Citation:

Krause, Jana, and Cynthia Enloe. 2015. “A Wealth of Expertise and Lived Experience.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (2): 328–38.

Authors: Jana Krause, Cynthia Enloe

Annotation:

Summary:
"The day before the United Nations (UN)-sponsored “Geneva II” peace talks on Syria that commenced in January 2014, women peace activists from around the globe met with Syrian women civil society activists in Geneva to discuss women’s roles in peacemaking. This gathering was entitled the “Women Lead to Peace Summit.” Transnational feminist groups – the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Code Pink, Madre, Kvinna till Kvinna and the Nobel Women’s Initiative – designed this alternative summit to put pressure on all parties involved in the “Geneva II” talks to include women civil society representatives in the formal peace negotiations.Women activists, including Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi (Iran) and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland), shared their lived experience of peace activism: brokering ceasefires, coordinating humanitarian support, shaping peace negotiations and leading reconciliation efforts. Based on our participation at this one-day event, we provide an account of women peace activists’ discussions in Geneva and the lessons they have learnt from each other. This piece also reflects upon feminist understandings of women’s experiences in war, and implications for their participation in peace processes. We quote by name individuals who spoke in public forums but leave those with whom we had private conversations unnamed" (Krause and Enloe 2015, 328). 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Economies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 2122

Year: 2015

When Are States Hypermasculine?

Citation:

Maruska, Jennifer Heeg. 2010. “When Are States Hypermasculine?” In Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives, edited by Laura Sjoberg, 235-55. Oxon: Routledge.

Author: Jennifer Heeg Maruska

Annotation:

Summary: 
"By using gender as a theoretical tool, I will demonstrate how American hegemonic masculinity—or a significant subsection of it—became hypermasculine in the days, months, and years following September 11, 2001. This development is key to understanding how the war Iraq was sold to and bought by the American people. The consequences of this hypermasculinity include popular support for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq as well as the re-election of President George W. Bush in 2004. In this chapter, I will elaborate the concepts of hegemonic masculinity and hypermasculinity, based on previous theorizing (largely by R. W. Connell and Charlotte Hooper). I will then apply these principles to the post-9/11 era, suggesting that both the Bush administration (the agent) and American mainstream culture itself (the structure) contributed to the invasion of Iraq. By applying a gender-sensitive lens, and putting hypermasculinity into a historical context, both the decision to invade Iraq and the popular support such an idea received will be made much clearer" (Maruska 2010, 236).

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Security Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2010

The Gendered Reproduction of the State in International Relations

Citation:

Kantola, Johanna. 2007. “The Gendered Reproduction of the State in International Relations.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 9 (2): 270–83.

Author: Johanna Kantola

Abstract:

This article focuses on feminist debates about the state in International Relations (IR). I develop an argument about the gendered reproduction of the state that is based on a Foucauldian notion of power and a Butlerian deconstruction of gender. This approach challenges the unity of the state, power and gender, and the state becomes the gendered effect of discursive and structural processes. I critically discuss recent arguments for the need to move ‘beyond the state’ and to abandon the category of the state altogether, arguing that rather than abandoning the state, their contribution is to draw attention to the need to focus on the intersections of local, national and global levels when analysing states. The article focuses then on the ways in which feminist debates challenge the IR notion of ‘sovereign states’. Feminist scholars problematise three issues in particular: sovereignty, the inside/outside dichotomy and the fiction of the state as a person. I suggest that these debates fundamentally refute the unity of the state upon which some of IR theory continues to rely. Finally, I discuss the state as an effect of discursive and structural processes, which shifts the focus to the gendered reproduction of the state., This article focuses on feminist debates about the state in International Relations (IR). I develop an argument about the gendered reproduction of the state that is based on a Foucauldian notion of power and a Butlerian deconstruction of gender. This approach challenges the unity of the state, power and gender, and the state becomes the gendered effect of discursive and structural processes. I critically discuss recent arguments for the need to move ‘beyond the state’ and to abandon the category of the state altogether, arguing that rather than abandoning the state, their contribution is to draw attention to the need to focus on the intersections of local, national and global levels when analysing states. The article focuses then on the ways in which feminist debates challenge the IR notion of ‘sovereign states’. Feminist scholars problematise three issues in particular: sovereignty, the inside/outside dichotomy and the fiction of the state as a person. I suggest that these debates fundamentally refute the unity of the state upon which some of IR theory continues to rely. Finally, I discuss the state as an effect of discursive and structural processes, which shifts the focus to the gendered reproduction of the state.

Keywords: feminist International Relations (IR), state, sovereignty, performative

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 2007

Authoritarianism in the Hypermasculinized State: Hybridity, Patriarchy, and Capitalism in Korea

Citation:

Han, Jongwoo, and L. H. M Ling. 1998. “Authoritarianism in the Hypermasculinized State: Hybridity, Patriarchy, and Capitalism in Korea.” International Studies Quarterly 42 (1): 53–78.

Authors: Jongwoo Han, L. H. M Ling

Abstract:

Authoritarianism in East Asia's capitalist developmental state (CDS) is highly gendered. A hybrid product of Western masculinist capitalism and Confucian parental governance, CDS authoritarianism takes on a hypermasculinized developmentalism that assumes all the rights and privileges of classical Confucian patriarchy for the state while assigning to society the characteristics of classical Confucian womanhood: diligence, discipline, and deference. Society subsequently bears the burden of economic development without equal access to political representation or voice. Women in the CDS now face three tiers of patriarchal authority and exploitation: family, state, and economy. Nevertheless, new opportunities for democratization may arise even in the hypermasculinized state. We suggest: (1) em- phasizing substantive, notjust procedural, democratization, (2) exercising a maternalized discourse of dissent, and (3) applying hybrid strategies of social mobilization across states, societies, cultures, and movements. South Korea during the 1960s-1970s serves as our case study.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 1998

Cognitive Short Cuts

Citation:

Hutchings, Kimberly. 2008. “Cognitive Short Cuts.” In Rethinking the Man Question: Sex, Gender and Violence in International Relations, edited by Jane L. Parpart and Marysia Zalewski, 23–46. London: Zed Books.

Author: Kimberly Hutchings

Annotation:

Summary:
"The purpose of this chapter is to examine one of the reasons for this ongoing marginalization of feminist/gender concerns. I will argue that a key reason for the ongoing invisibility of women and gender in the theoretical frames through which post-cold-war international politics is grasped is the legitimizing function of masculinity discourses within those theories. My central claim is that masculinity operates as a resource for though in theorizing international politics. That is to say, masculinity operates as a kind of commonsense, implicit, often unconscious shorthand for processes of explanatory and normative judgement, thereby as one of the crucial ways in which our social scientific imagination is shaped and limited. I will explore how this works in two very influential but different accounts of contemporary international politics: the 'offensive' realism of Mearsheimer (The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, 2001) and the post-Marxist story of 'empire/multitude' in the work of Hardt and Negri (Empire, 2000). In conclusion, I will argue that one can hope, to paraphrase Ferguson, to loosen the hold of masculinity on meaning and life only once one has appreciated how much intellectual work is accomplished by masculinity's logical structure (Ferguson 1993: 29). Without the logic of masculinity, grand theorists of international politics would be required to work a great deal harder in order to persuade us of the accuracy of their diagnoses of the times" (Hutchings 2008, 23-24). 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Masculinism

Year: 2008

Environmental Security and Gender: Necessary Shifts in an Evolving Debate

Citation:

Detraz, Nicole. 2009. “Environmental Security and Gender: Necessary Shifts in an Evolving Debate.” Security Studies 18 (2): 345–69.

Author: Nicole Detraz

Abstract:

Environmental security is a topic of study that has gained significant attention in the past few decades. Largely since the end of the Cold War, environmental security has come to represent a way for scholars and policy makers to link the concepts of traditional security scholarship to the environment. Many different conceptions of the relationship between the environment and security appear in academia. Yet despite the diversity of current work on the environment and security, there has been little systematic work done that examines the intersection between environmental security and gender. This article will address the necessity of including gender into the approaches on the environment and security. The environmental security debate exhibits gendered understandings of both security and the environment. These gendered assumptions and understandings benefit particular people but are often detrimental to others. Examining environmental security through a gender lens gives insight into the gendered nature of global environmental politics and redefines the concept in ways that are more useful, both empirically and analytically. The various environmental security perspectives have important, unexplored gender dimensions that must be uncovered so that the security of humans and the environment can be better protected.

Topics: Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Security, Human Security

Year: 2009

What About the Global South? Towards a Feminist Decolonial Degrowth Approach

Citation:

Dengler, Corinna, and Lisa Marie Seebacher. 2019. “What About the Global South? Towards a Feminist Decolonial Degrowth Approach.” Ecological Economics 157 (March): 246–52.

Authors: Corinna Dengler, Lisa Marie Seebacher

Abstract:

Degrowth calls for a profound socio-ecological transformation towards a socially just and environmentally sound society. So far, the global dimensions of such a transformation in the Global North have arguably not received the required attention. This article critically reflects on the requirements of a degrowth approach that promotes global intragenerational justice without falling into the trap of reproducing (neo-)colonial continuities. Our account of social justice is inherently tied to questions of gender justice. A postcolonial reading of feminist standpoint theory provides the theoretical framework for the discussion. In responding to two main points of criticism raised by feminist scholars from the Global South, it is argued that degrowth activism and scholarship has to reflect on its coloniality and necessarily needs to seek alliances with social movements from around the world on equal footing. Acknowledging that this task is far from easy, some cornerstones of a feminist decolonial degrowth approach are outlined.

Keywords: degrowth, decoloniality, postcolonial theory, feminist standpoint theory, post-development, environmental justice

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Justice

Year: 2019

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