Changing gender orders, varieties of gender regimes and institutional changes

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Ilse LENZ, University of Bochum, Germany
The paper will argue that presently the gender order in postindustrial welfare states is in a process of transformation with open end. This is not only a result of the current crisis but of internal structural and  institutional changes and global influences and interchanges. Main actors driving this transformation are global capitalism with its increasing economisation and flexibilisation of workforces, gender movements mobilising for equality and diversity of gender and sexualities, internet communities propelling international and transnational discourses and communications and political actors on the global and national level in the global multilevel system. Thus, I will argue for an action-oriented perspective and theorising the  interconnections between actors effecting institutional change on the mesolevel and structural transformation at the macro-level.

The institutional changes are shaped by the variety of gender welfare regimes and their different development paths on one hand and international institutional learning on the other. This argument will be substantiated by comparing institutional changes considering the household, care work and gendered employment, gendered political participation in – now changing – liberal, social democratic and conservative gender welfare regimes. Changes in these institutions do not take the same direction and fundamental tensions emerge between them as with neoliberal employment flexibilisation and stabilisation of the conservative household with its inequal division of labour.

 But the transformation on the macro level and the institutional changes are interlinked with a deep going cultural change in the understanding of gender: Its meaning is shifting internationally from dualistic biologistic gender dualism to gender diversity embracing diverse social gender and sexual representations and practices. I will argue that theorising on macro transformation and institutional change on the meso level should be related to cultural change.