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Jämställdhet som assemblage

Journal article
Authors Mia Liinason
Published in Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning
Volume 41
Issue 3
Pages 165-186
ISSN 0809-6341
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Pages 165-186
Language sv
Keywords jämställdhet, assemblage, affekt, nyliberalism, governmentalitet, subjektivitet
Subject categories Gender Studies


This article aims to examine how gender equality is rendered significant and meaningful in different areas of society in Sweden today. In contrast to ambitions to evaluate failures and successes of gender equality policies, I argue that gender equality could be understood as an essentially contested concept, and suggest that «assemblage» is a fruitful notion to use for an understanding of how gender equality is constructed by connections between different concepts. Using a multi-sited ethnographic method, I draw on three empirical case studies to study how gender equality is given significance and meaning in three areas of society: quality development in a state university; the government’s understanding of gender equality; and ideas of gender equality among representatives of civil society organizations advocating for women’s rights. I identify connections between gender equality and other concepts, such as quality, effectivity or women’s rights, and show how these understandings of gender equality are used to shape normalization processes and justify structural inequalities in terms of class, race, ethnicity and nationality. With an ambition to develop a constructive alternative to the dilemmas that appear as a result of gender equality as assemblage, I suggest, towards the end of the article, possible ways to move beyond such a hierarchically differentiating discourse.

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