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Ett eget rum?: Kvinnors organisering möter etablerad politik
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to analyse the relationship between women’s organising and established politics in three Swedish municipalities, and by way of this analysis study the construction of gender power orders. In the analysis, special emphasis is put on women’s agency. By posing questions to activists and local politicians concerning their opinions about women’s organising, the positions of women in established politics, and the concept of gender-equality, the ambition is to illuminate constructions of local gender power orders. The analysis is mainly based on interviews with activists, local politicians, and local administrators in the municipalities of Berg, Kiruna, and Robertsfors.

Theoretically, the dissertation is influenced mainly by feminist theory of gender power relations and women’s agency, for example the work of Maud Eduards, and the theories about power and resistance developed by Michel Foucault. Carol Bacchi’s “What’s the problem?” approach is used when analysing the opinions of activists and politicians regarding the issue of gender-equality. In this approach, the way of constructing problems is the key, not “the problem” as such. The point is to constantly question phenomena that are defined as natural or self-evident, or, in other words, to deconstruct dominating discourses.

When the interviews with the politicians were analysed with the ambition of discerning a dominant discourse of gender power, five limiting principles became visible; essential (in biological terms) differences between women and men, figures and complementarity, reduction, voluntariness, and co-operation. The principle of differences appears to be central, and all the principles place questions of gender-equality on the labour market. The “gap” between activists and politicians regarding the way in which gender is constructed is put forward as the main reason why women’s organising meets resistance from the sphere of local, established politics. This gap is also the central ingredient in the construction of the three local gender power orders, even if there are also other differences between the three.

Key words: Women’s organising, women’s movement, gender-equality, rural areas, local politics, gender and politics, feminist theory

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Statsvetenskap , 2002. , 314 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2002:3
Keyword [sv]
kvinnors organisering, jämställdhet, feministisk teori, lokal politik, glesbygd
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-711ISBN: 91-7305-340-6 (korr) 91-7305-041-5OAI: diva2:144285
Statsvetenskap, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2002-11-15, Hörsalen, N Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-02-28 Created: 2006-02-28 Last updated: 2009-06-24Bibliographically approved

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