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ECPR

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Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

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Gender and sexuality representation in politics

Gender
Representation
Feminism
GP1

Tuesday 14:00 - 15:15 BST (30/05/2023)

Abstract

Feminist knowledge has deeply transformed political science research by bringing attention to the power inequalities manifest in political theory and practice. Classic feminist works on gender and sexuality are part of the foundations of contemporary political science and have opened new avenues in areas such as political representation to public policy and social movements. Many feminist concepts have travelled well beyond the boundaries of gender and sexuality research, challenging and altering the mainstream of the discipline of political science. However, the success of feminist political science has also created some problems including the risk of diluting the subversive potential of feminist knowledge as well as promoting the use of feminist concepts that ignores their origins and meaning in white, queer and black feminist thought. Feminist concepts and approaches broadly understood to include gender, sexuality and intersectional perspectives have found growing popularity but are often applied in de- and a-gendered ways that lack a profound understanding of the material and symbolic structures that were the object of their original critique. At the same time, classic feminist works also sometimes display gaps and silences, especially when it comes to recognizing white privilege and heteronormative biases and the intersection of gender with other social divisions of race/ethnicity, sexuality, able-bodiedness, religion and class. Developments in the field of feminist political science, furthermore, challenge narrow perspectives that focus on structurally privileged women and ignore racism and heterosexism in the discipline as well as knowledge produced in the Global South.