In the past century the presence of women in the ‘public sphere’ has increased considerably as a result of, amongst other things, the rapid increase in their levels of schooling, professional competences and labour market participation. Much more limited and slower, by contrast, has been the entry of women into the centres of decision-making and power. This makes necessary a reflection on gender citizenship in political arenas, which are precisely those in which actions to sensitize and change the broader social context should be undertaken. The paper presents some findings of a qualitative research which gathered the narratives of men and women —belonging to different Italian political alignments and occupying different positions and roles— relative to their political career paths and the discourses with which they accounted for female under-representation. The analysis of the collected texts allowed to shed light to on the discursive practices, symbols, meanings and sexed images with which the symbolic gender order is created and reproduced. Particularly highlighted are the gender positioning performed through the narratives and the tendency to cast women in the role of the ‘Other’ with respect to the political system.

Casting the ‘Other’: Gender Positionings in Politicians’ Narratives

Poggio, Barbara
2010

Abstract

In the past century the presence of women in the ‘public sphere’ has increased considerably as a result of, amongst other things, the rapid increase in their levels of schooling, professional competences and labour market participation. Much more limited and slower, by contrast, has been the entry of women into the centres of decision-making and power. This makes necessary a reflection on gender citizenship in political arenas, which are precisely those in which actions to sensitize and change the broader social context should be undertaken. The paper presents some findings of a qualitative research which gathered the narratives of men and women —belonging to different Italian political alignments and occupying different positions and roles— relative to their political career paths and the discourses with which they accounted for female under-representation. The analysis of the collected texts allowed to shed light to on the discursive practices, symbols, meanings and sexed images with which the symbolic gender order is created and reproduced. Particularly highlighted are the gender positioning performed through the narratives and the tendency to cast women in the role of the ‘Other’ with respect to the political system.
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Poggio, Barbara
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/93959
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