Institutionalization of Gender Equality in Contemporary Taiwan: A Preliminary Institutional Ethnographic Exploration

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:00
Location: Hörsaal 6C P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Pei-Ru LIAO, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Three decades after the women’s movement started, contemporary Taiwan has witnessed big progresses in amending and legislating gender-related laws. The women’s movement also helps to establish the academic discipline of Gender Studies, which means that experiences of gender has been institutionalized as a discipline of knowledge. Not only is gender being institutionalized as knowledge, it is institutionalized as everyday work across different sectors, departments, and organizations. Along with the implementation of Gender Mainstreaming in 2000, the institutionalization of gender equality within the public sector brings in resources and funding to the third sector.  Examining the work knowledge of first-line workers whose work are associated with gender-related laws enables us to explore the power relations within the institutionalized discourse of gender equality. Starting from the standpoint of first-line workers, the researcher has conducted fifteen interviews, including workers from NGOs, the public sector, and schools, in order to explore their everyday work and their work knowledge which reflects the ideological practices of the institutionalized discourse of gender equality. Meanwhile, the researcher keeps field notes on her everyday work and interactions with first-line workers from gender-related work. The preliminary results of the research are (1) the patriarchal nature of social relations embedded in the public sector and the third sector are often in conflicts with the workers with feminist or gender studies backgrounds; (2) work knowledge differ from first-line workers who possess degrees in gender studies and workers who are not trained in relevant areas which results in different ways of institutionalizing gender equality in the local fields; (3) the institutionalized discourse of gender-related work is social-work oriented which diminishes work knowledge from a feminist perspective. The preliminary exploration demonstrates that work knowledge of the first-line workers participate in different processes of institutionalization in the local practices.