Department of Sociology

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Ny artikkel

Gender-equality as boundary

Stipendiat ved Sosiologisk institutt Susanne Bygnes, har publisert en ny artikkel i tidsskriftet European Journal of Women's Studies.

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Gender-equality as boundary: ‘Gender–nation frames’ in Norwegian EU campaign organizations

European Journal of Women's Studies February 2012 19: 7-22


This article examines how women’s and gender-equality issues form part of social movement organizations’ ideological framing and discusses how this tendency is mirrored in discourses at European and nation-state levels. Focusing on one of Western Europe’s few non-EU member countries, the article compares how two Norwegian social movement organizations draw on gender issues in their argumentation. The analysis is empirically based on written material produced by the organizations and takes recourse in a feminist methodological approach rooted in the tradition of discourse analysis. The analysis suggests that gender-related issues discussed by the organizations are colored by an implicit North–South hierarchy which frames some areas, nations and cultures as more gender-equal and women-friendly than others. By drawing on notions conceptualized by Nira Yuval-Davis, it is argued that social movement organizations’ tendency to frame women’s issues and gender-equality in a way that implicitly marks and maintains symbolic boundaries between North and South is colored by a ‘politics of belonging’ at the macro-level. The final discussion suggests some of the ways in which it may be problematic to see Nordic gender-equality traditions and current EU initiatives as universal solutions that fit all women living in Europe.