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The increasing fragmentation of feminism has resulted in feminisms in the plural and the problematization of women as a coherent and unified category, which adds greater analytical complexity particularly once race, class, and sexuality are fully analyzed. This work also posed important challenges to concepts such as objective knowledge and the role of researcher and researched.

Feminists who are of color, working class, postcolonial, and lesbian, argue that failure to consider the distinctive and sometimes conflicting interests among women has created a bias toward the experience of white middle-class women hooks ; Lorde ; Collins ; Smooth Queer theorists and lesbian feminists also have critiqued what they call the heteronormativity taking heterosexuality for granted of much of the feminist work on gender.

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Scholars of gender and race in the United States have critiqued the examination of gender and race apart from one other; these two concepts are not separable like pop-beads on a necklace Spelman These arguments have prompted feminists of color to develop the concept of intersectionality to get at the complex interrelationship between gender and race Hancock ; Smooth For example, disaggregating the gender gap in voting in the United States by race reveals that the gender gap emerged earlier among African Americans and is today larger there.

Big challenges remain within politics as it is both practiced and studied. Contestation has increased around issues associated with gender equality, p. Neoliberalism, the financial crisis, and various processes of de-democratization Verloo are fundamentally shaping the political context and the austerity measures are having a very differentiated impact by gender as well as by race, class, and disability. According to Fraser , the once emancipatory feminist critiques of the economy, androcentrism, and the state have been redirected to serve to legitimate neoliberal capitalism.

On the other hand, an increasingly sexualized culture, with issues of violence, rape, street harassment, and pornography, may also be impacting a popularly vaunted decline in feminism. Interest in feminism has resurged, particularly among younger women, using new forms of activism, such as blogs, demonstrations, and technologies such as social media Banyard SlutWalks, which began in Toronto and later spread all over the world to cities as far apart as London, Singapore, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and New York in summer following remarks made by a senior police officer to Canadian law students, are further evidence of this.

In this context, a number of important challenges remain for gender scholarship.

First, as many have argued, too little attention is still given to issues of intersectionality Collins ; Hancock ; Weldon As we have seen, much of the pioneering gender scholarship was primarily focused on the issues and concerns of white middle-class women. Scholars were then forced to pay more attention to race, class, sexuality, and disability by vocal black, working-class, lesbian, and postcolonial feminists. Others are exploring how identity groups can be constituted within—rather than prior to—inequality policies Cooper , 49— Intersectionality can therefore appear to have disciplinary functions as a governmental discourse that produces more identities Grabham , Intersectionality will undoubtedly bring fundamental changes to the conceptual, methodological, and normative paradigm of the gender and politics scholarship.

It requires sophisticated methods and research designs able to deal with complexity without particularism. Most importantly, intersectionality also challenges existing theories and begs for new normative standards.

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For example, theorists of gender have delineated dimensions of nation, heteronormativity, hierarchies of power, and divisions of labor as dimensions of gender Young ; see also Connell Turning to the analysis of law and policy making, some have suggested a distinction between market or class-related or redistributive policies and those that are focused on status or rights Htun and Weldon ; Blofield and Haas More work theorizing and analyzing these distinctive dimensions is needed.

This exhortation provokes an anxiety among some feminists that having finally developed a context in which we can study women, we will be back to studying men and their concerns again. Nevertheless, the study of men and masculinity is critical to moving the field of gender politics forward. Third, the gender scholarship has sometimes been too narrowly focused on the formulation of gender equality policies and the workings of gender equality bodies Waylen Last, we need to continue to develop theoretical accounts of politics that better link structure, action, and ideas.

Early work was overly focused on actors. No one would deny that actors, and certain actors in particular, are hugely important in both the conventional and nonconventional political arenas. Feminist institutionalists are developing a wider understanding of institutions as gendered structures and an improved understanding of how they operate in gendered ways Mackay and Waylen ; Krook and Mackay Underlying this development is a belief that if we understand institutions as rules, norms, and practices, then we need to know how formal and informal rules, norms, and practices are gendered Chappell and Waylen And in particular one of the key questions for all institutionalists, including feminists, is how to explain institutional change.

How and why does change occur or not occur? And linked to that, how is it that institutions can remain the same? We need to explain institutional continuity or more accurately institutional reproduction. How do institutions actually sustain and reproduce themselves Waylen ?

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This can help us to understand why attempts to change institutions do not have p. There is also a need for more research that focuses on discourses and ideas as well as actors and structures, examining, for example, the role that discourses and ideas about gender and sexuality play in constituting political actors and structures in the global economy Bedford ; Lind , violence Kantola, Norocel, and Repo , and gender equality policies Lombardo and Forest Particular notions of politics reproduce particular kinds of gendered subject positions and agents and result in particular performances of gender cf.

Butler This handbook takes up many of these themes and issues in its seven substantive sections. It recognizes the complexity and multidimensionality of gender. As demonstrated already, gender is not just about sexuality, the body, work, motherhood, or violence, as some scholars have claimed. Rather gender operates along many, interrelated dimensions, including sex and sexuality, family, race and nation, work, and institutionalized relations of power and violence. We have organized these chapters to highlight the political nature of these phenomena and also to show they structure nations, states, markets, and civil society.

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These latter concepts are more traditional categories of political analysis that nonetheless are also critical for the study of politics and gender. We hope that this handbook will be accessible to all starting and established political and social scientists, so we begin in the first section by explaining some key concepts and how they relate to each other and also by explaining the variety of and contributions to method and methodology in the field. The chapters cover two families of concepts: 1 sex, gender, feminism, and intersectionality; and 2 power, politics, domination, and oppression.

We then turn to examine p.

In the next section we investigate various forms and contexts of gendered organizing by women and men—including feminist, nonfeminist, antifeminist, and transnational movements by women and men as well as civil society as a realm of gendered political action more generally. The subsequent two sections consider the relationship between gender and a range of more traditional political institutions, systems, and structures.

First, we look at gendered praxes of participation and representation in various political systems, political parties, electoral systems, judicial politics, and courts. The next section focuses on the gendered nature of the state, governance, and policy making, and the actors and processes involved. The final section focuses on the debates and the puzzles surrounding equality, citizenship, identity, multiculturalism, nations, and security. As a whole, this handbook aims to illustrate the evolution, establishment, and institutionalization of the field of gender and politics.

Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola, Georgina Waylen, and S. Laurel Weldon

Its chapters also show the diversity and pluralism of this field and illustrate some of the clear lines of agreement and disagreement in the field of politics and gender. Each section has its own introduction highlighting the developments, the old and new debates, and future challenges for the key themes within that section as well as linking it to the rest of the handbook and discipline.

The Oxford Handbook on Gender and Politics is therefore premised on the belief that it is vitally important that we improve our understanding of how both politics as a practice and political science as a discipline are gendered; this will help us to change both the practice and the discipline of politics for the better. Alvarez, Sonia. Engendering democracy in Brazil. Find this resource:. Annesley, Claire, and Francesca Gains. Political Studies 58 5 : — APSA report on the advancement of women in political science. Washington, DC: Author. Arendt, Hannah. The human condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Banyard, Kat. Governing now: Grassroots activism in the National Organization for Women. Basu, Amrita Ed. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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Beckwith, Karen, and Kimberley Cowell-Meyers. Bedford, Kate. Developing partnerships: Gender, sexuality and the reformed World Bank. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Bjarnegard, Elin. Blee, Kathleen. Women of the Klan: Racism and gender in the s. Berkeley: University of California Press. Inside organized racism: Women in the hate movement. Blofield, Merike, and Liesl Haas. Bourque, Susan C. Brenner, Suzanne.

Brettell, Caroline, and Carolyn Sargeant. Gender in cross-cultural perspective. Brown, Wendy.