W093
Gendered contestation: ethnographic perspectives on power and uncertainty (EN)

Convenors:
Jessica Johnson (University of Birmingham)
Omotayo Jolaosho (University of South Florida)
Chair:
Andrea Cornwall (Sussex)
Discussant:
Ida Susser (CUNY), Andrea Cornwall (Sussex)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
C105 (access code C1764 )
Start time:
11 July, 2012 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Contestation is always experienced as unfinished and uncertain, and the ethnographic method is ideally suited to probe its contours. Through a focus on gendered contestation, we seek to draw attention to marginalized spaces, activities and individuals in ways that are productive for social enquiry.

Long abstract:

Gender has long been recognised as a contentious concept in anthropology and it is increasingly being debated and deployed beyond the academy in sophisticated, highly theoretical ways. Attention to gendered practices highlights the tangled, unstable and improvisatory dynamics of power. This panel focuses on instances of gendered contestation occurring in domestic spaces, courthouses, consciousness raising groups, street protests, and beyond. Questions to be addressed include: how can we theorise the ways in which 'gender' is used, explicitly (or implicitly), to interrogate moral and ethical orders, refine social movements, motivate protests, or frame disputes? What can we make of the fact that 'gender' is simultaneously a locus of disagreement and a source of collaboration? How might we analyse the manifold ways in which 'gender' is discovered, understood, employed, and embodied as differently located individuals engage in contestations with each other, with the state, or with hegemonic ideas and practices? As gender discourses travel, how might the uncanny experience of sharing the language of gender critique with our informants be analytically mobilized? Contestation is always experienced as unfinished and uncertain, and the ethnographic method is ideally suited to probe its contours in particular moments. Through a focus on gendered contestation, we seek to draw attention to marginalized spaces, activities and individuals in ways that are productive for social enquiry.