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Type: Book chapter
Title: Approaches to gender mainstreaming: what’s the problem represented to be?
Author: Bacchi, C.
Eveline, J.
Citation: Mainstreaming Politics: Gendering Practices and Feminist Theory, 2010 / Bacchi, C. (ed./s), pp.111-138
Publisher: University of Adelaide Press
Publisher Place: South Australia
Issue Date: 2010
ISBN: 9780980672381
ISSN: 0259-7446
Editor: Bacchi, C.
Statement of
Carol Bacchi and Joan Eveline
Abstract: Introduction: Carol Bacchi and Joan Eveline Previous chapters have made reference to the need to rethink policy as a creative (productive or constitutive) process. The major purpose of this chapter is to clarify what this means and to illustrate the usefulness of this way of thinking about policy for studying gender mainstreaming and gender analysis. The specific focus is ‘gender proofing’ in Ireland and ‘gender impact assessment’ in the Netherlands. The underlying proposition in thinking about policies as productive, or as constitutive, is that policies and policy proposals give shape and meaning to the ‘problems’ they purport to ‘address’. That is, policy ‘problems’ do not exist ‘out there’ in society, waiting to be ‘solved’ through timely and perspicacious policy interventions. Rather, specific policy proposals ‘imagine’ ‘problems’ in particular ways that have real and meaningful effects. Hence, to understand how policies operate requires that we ask of policy proposals ‘What's the Problem represented to be?’. This question forms the starting place for Bacchi's (1999; 2009a) novel method of policy analysis (elaborated below), captured in the acronym WPR. The proposition that ‘problems’ do not ‘exist’ ‘out there’ in society does not ignore or downplay the full range of troubling conditions, including the subordination of women, that characterise social relations. Instead, it insists that how ‘problems’ are represented in policies – how they are discursively produced – affects the particular understanding given to those conditions at points in time and space, and that these understandings matter.
Rights: © 2010 Carol Bacchi, Joan Eveline and the contributors. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission. Address all inquiries to the Director at the above address.
DOI: 10.1017/UPO9780980672381.009
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