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Conflicting policy narratives: moving beyond culture in identifying barriers to gender policy in South Africa

Mannell, Jenevieve (2014) Conflicting policy narratives: moving beyond culture in identifying barriers to gender policy in South Africa. Critical Social Policy, 34 (4). pp. 454-474. ISSN 0261-0183

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0261018314538794

Abstract

This paper explores barriers to gender policy implementation arising from the narratives framing gender as a policy issue. Through examining the influence of gender policy narratives on practitioners, it challenges those who represent policy failures as the result of unsupportive cultural contexts. The paper draws on Fraser’s (1995, 2005; Fraser and Honneth, 2003) conceptualisation of recognition and redistribution to highlight tensions between three different gender policy narratives: (1) gender as instrumental for development; (2) gender as women’s rights and empowerment; and (3) gender as relations of power requiring personal transformation. Interviews with 32 gender practitioners in 26 South African non-governmental organisations and observations of meetings between these organisations show how these narratives lead to unhelpful conflicts between practitioners. These conflicts inhibit both the uptake of gender policy recommendations and collaboration between practitioners in ways that undermine efforts to address gender inequalities in the South African context.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://csp.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 15:39
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 05:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/57514

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