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Session Overview
RN33_01a_P: Gendering Methodology: Narratives, Indicators and Statistics
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Maria Carmela Agodi, University of Naples Federico II
Session Chair: Ilenia Picardi, Università di Napoli Federico II
Location: PE.1.38
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: E, Level: 1.

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Women narrating migration. Role of family in their coping strategies.

Ana Maria Preoteasa1,2

1Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romania; 2University Lucian Blaga Sibiu, Romania

In the last 25 years Romanians have experienced different migration paths, especially in accordance with destination countries opportunities and visas policies. Before 2002, the migration was mainly illegal and the persons who decided to migrate have chosen different strategies in order to accomplish their intention to migrate. After 2002 and especially after European Union Integration (2007) the free movement determined larger migration flows from Romania toward different European countries. Our analysis seeks to document women’s migration trajectories considering migration time, professional career at origin and destination, life stage and family connections (if they migrated together with family or not, if there are children remained at origin). The linked lives’ role in migration paths or return decision will be studied considering the family (nuclear and extended) as well as other social networks. 15 life story interviews with women with diverse socio-economic background, having a considerable migration care work experience are analyzed. Our analysis takes into consideration both the biographical facts and the narrated life events as well as the feelings and attitudes migrant women express within their narratives. The data were collected using the life history interview. The data analysis followed a deductive and inductive approach in order to identify the main challenges and adaption strategies as well as the role of linked lives in explaining their decisions.


Hilal Arslan

Jacobs University Bremen / BIGSSS, Germany

Measuring women’s empowerment depends on data availability on key focus areas of gender inequality such as education, health, and employment. In order to tackle this issue, there is a number of initiatives held recently by international organizations such as Data2x project by United Nations which calls for “Gender Data Revolution” to fill gender data gap by setting ‘big data’ by ensuring quality and standardization across countries. Moreover, World Bank Gender Data portal provides free access to gender equality statistics which are composed of disaggregated indicators by sex for example female labor force participation rate (%), share of women in wage employment in the nonagricultural sector (% of total nonagricultural employment), proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%), and life expectancy female years. Despite the urgent need for more data on gender indicators, there are conceptual and measurement issues with the indicators used to grasp women’s well-being. For instance, most income-based indicators are measured at the household level and it is hard to estimate the allocation of household resources across female members of the family. In order to overcome these difficulties, this study suggests applying happiness inequality as an alternative measure to understand women’s perception of distribution of life chances in the societies they live in. In this context, the study will seek for the determinants of happiness gap between males and females across countries by using data from 38 countries included in “Family and Changing Gender Roles IV” module of International Social Survey Program (ISSP).

Manufacturing indicators of mixedness: how statistics come to obscure gender

Marion Lieutaud

London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

There have long been debates around various forms of mixedness; binational people after the Paris attacks; “grey” weddings; the denunciation of interbreeding by far-right movements, etc.... Given the general interest, it seems peculiar that public statistics are so patchy on the topic, and strikingly inconsistent across borders. Indicators of mixedness are very country-specific, often to the point of incommensurability, and these national biases are reflected in quantitative analyses. While representations of mixedness overwhelmingly refer to gendered patterns (the terrorist men, the “traitor” women who interbreed), gender goes unproblematised in most quantitative sources and research. Inspired by feminist qualitative literature, and building on a socio-historical and comparative analysis of French and British public surveys and quantitative research, I present 5 hypotheses – I rely on a deliberately broad definition of mixedness, encompassing individuals and couples with mixed ethnic/racial/religious/national/migratory identities or status.

1. Statistics of mixedness deeply differ in France and Britain, which can be connected to diverging definitions of national belonging, and constrain analyses.

2. Statistical categories for mixedness are both refined and expanded over time, creating partial overlapping, and opening windows for international comparisons.

3. The introduction of new “mixed” statistical categories can be linked to topical and gendered representations of mixedness.

4. Yet gender in mixedness is largely masked in statistical sources, which translate gendered representations into gender-neutral statistics.

5. Statistical tools used to analyse mixedness fail to tackle gender, through models which, at best, consider it a control variable, as opposed to an identified research object.

Women's subjectivity between ethics of duty and ethics of authenticity. Discourse of agency of economically and social active Silesian women (Poland) in the era of economic and cultural change

Xymena Bukowska

Collegium Civitas, Poland

Upper Silesia is one of the most industrialized region in Poland. It has developed since the 19th century based on mining and metallurgical industries, according to the classical model of modernization, with its strong division between the “public” and the “private” spheres, connected to the gender roles (work vs home). Even the “third sphere” – the realm of social activities outside the home and the workplace – was divided into either “female” or “male” activities. All the tree areas of life (family, work, socio-civic engagement) were governed by "the ethics of duty" – a set of norms and obligations arising from the social roles, the principles of social responsibility, self-restraint etc.

Cultural changes of late modernity transform this modern (rational) subject into a reflexive one, which strives after authenticity, self-realization, self-fulfillment. The late-modern subject is guided by the “ethics of authenticity”: not only deliberation, but also emotions and passions, are necessary for the full expression of the unique "self". In the world of liquid power structures, the late-modern subject is forced to develop strategies preserving him/her “the chance to be a subject”.

The economic changes (decarbonization) in Upper Silesia, and broader socio-cultural development challenge the “women’s subjects”. In my paper I will present the results of discourse analysis concerning the socio-economic activities of women from Upper Silesia. The aim is to reconstruct their strategies of subjectivity and types of “women’s subjects”, by answering the question, what does it mean for them “to be active”, and what are the social stakes of their various activities?

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