Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society

Public Lecture Series, 2015-16


Dr Jairo Lugo-Ocando
Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication University of Leeds

Gender, Development and the Media since 1945: It is not a man's world!

Date: 14 October 2015, 12 noon
Venue: F1030, UL

Abstract: The issue of gender is of pivotal importance when it comes to how the media represents poverty and development. Nevertheless, it is an area widely under researched in journalism studies. Therefore the paper asks why women are represented in a certain way and what effects does this has on the articulation of news about development. The paper explores gender as a core element in the construction of strategic narratives about development and modernisation, the symbolic appropriation of women's bodies by development policy and how the regimes of pity have been historically set around gender. In so doing, it discusses issues such as the representation of reproductive rights and masculinity in the presentation of development policy to the public and how modernity has been used to advance further restrictive policies towards women.

(Led by FESTA and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at UL)

Dr Helen Peterson
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Work Science University of Gothenburg

Breaking the Academic Glass-Ceiling: How Sweden Became the Country with the Highest Proportion of Women University Presidents in Europe

Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2015, 1pm
Venue: F1030, UL

Abstract: The intent of this seminar is to contribute to a discussion on how the academic glass ceiling can be shattered. Sweden stands out as a country with a significantly higher proportion of women Vice-Chancellors (i.e. University Presidents) than other countries. In 2010, 43 per cent of the Swedish Vice-Chancellors were women, compared to the average 10 per cent in the 27 EU countries (European Commission 2012). In 2015, 8 of the 16 Swedish Universities have women Vice-Chancellors and only 4 out of 12 University Colleges (higher education institutions which are less research intensive than the Universities) have men as Vice-Chancellors. This is a dramatic change from 1990 when there were no women Vice-Chancellors at any University and only two women Vice-Chancellors at the University Colleges. In my presentation I will identify several factors that can explain this increase in women Vice-Chancellors, taking into consideration national policies and women’s networks as well as changes in skills requirements. The appointment process and the recruitment profiles are particularly investigated. I have examined documents reporting on 69 different Vice-Chancellor appointments at 28 Swedish higher education institutions between 1983 and 2015. An in-depth comparison between the 27 cases when a woman was appointed Vice-Chancellor and the 42 that resulted in the appointment of a male Vice Chancellor reveals that there are notable divergences in how the “ideal” University President is described and conceptualized - that could explain the different outcomes.

(Led by FESTA and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at UL)

Dr Clare O’Hagan

Complex Inequality and Working Mothers

Date: 17 November 2015, 1pm
Venue: FIO30, UL

Abstract: For women who combine motherhood with paid work, Ireland is no country for working mothers. Drawing on research with thirty ‘working mothers’, this seminar reveals that a complex inequality occurs at the intersection of motherhood with paid work, which creates difficulties for women who attempt to combine the two. In Ireland as elsewhere, changes in the male breadwinner model, with women’s participation in paid work, have not been matched by changes in society, polity and economy to support gender equality. Policies for supporting unpaid care work are undeveloped compared with labour market activation measures. Families are currently combining working and caring in many different ways, but with little social support. Women make heroic efforts in combining motherhood with paid work as if they are ‘ideal workers’ in the workplace, and full-time-in-the-home mothers and attempt to meet the demands on women in both spheres. Current ideas about ‘ideal mothers’ and ‘ideal workers,’ are promoted in dominant discourses, which reveal the operation of power and its effects on social policy, legislation, employers’ and women’s practices.

(Led by FESTA and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at UL)

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Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society