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Session Overview
Session
RN33_10b: Art, New Ideas and Cultural Challenges
Time:
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Maria Carmela Agodi, Università di Napoli Federico II
Location: BS.3.15
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Presentations

‘Home’, Intersectionality And Practising Arts: How Can Intersectionality Be Implemented In An Art-based Research Design?

Mastoureh Fathi

Royal Holloway University of London, United Kingdom

Given the emphasis placed on education as ‘the’ way for ethnic communities to integrate in the UK, it is vital to understand migrant women’s experiences of community based pedagogical spaces and their complex dynamics. In a study with 36 women from Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, Syria and Iraq in West London (2018-19), I aimed at understanding homing and pedagogy in community-based spaces. The intersectional methodological plan to which we (a group of community researchers) collectively contributed involved:

1. Ethnography notes drawing extensively on our own intersectional positioning as academics and community workers. These collaborative narratives were produced through sharing dialogues, notes written on shared folders and images of our understanding of women’s involvement in the project after each session (interpersonal experiences).

2. ‘Thematic art training’ on various aspects of women’s lives, childhood, homeland, motherhood, and home in London (migrant experiences).

3. Active participation with women in relation to caring for their children who were present in the premises where the classes were taking place (motherhood experiences)

Intersectionality informed the initial design of methods to understand the various aspects of marginalised women’s experiences. Through narratives on their art pieces, it was revealed that art training enabled them to reflect on womanhood, marginalisation, being from a country ‘afar’ and living in London both visually and orally. It is suggested that pedagogical spaces can provide spaces that intersectional methods can be implemented in design and delivery stages in community based projects rather than only at analysis stage.



Communities of Practice and Gender Equality in Academia: Challenging the Status Quo Through Knowledge Exchange

Marta Warat, Ewelina Ciaputa, Paulina Sekuła, Ewa Krzaklewska

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

The unequal status of women in the academia has been recently given an increasingly scholarly focus. Although women constitute the majority among initial academic appointments, discrimination manifests through lower pace of their career progression, their underrepresentation in senior positions and in mere presence in decision-making processes. These problems are already being addressed in institutional measures aimed at improving gender balance in academia. Yet, the lack of knowledge and expertise within research organisations calls for institutionalised ways to assure exchange of good practices. In this context, communities of practice (CoPs) are believed to have potential to improve the performance of academia by establishing and stimulating groups of practitioners who share the same concern and learn from each other to strengthen the effectiveness of their gender equality work. Our paper – focusing on the Polish case – based on the survey with gender equality practitioners, researchers and HR staff in research performing and research funding institutions conducted under the framework of the H2020 project ACT will examine to what extent CoPs can increase the engagement for institutional change and quality of outcomes. Particularly, we will map the existing collaboration between Polish research institutions, assess current needs, successes and barriers in implementing gender equality as well as analyse activities and measures developed to advance gender equality. Finally, we will analyse what internal and external factors are seen as critical to improve gender equality in research and academia. We explore these issues in the political context where the intersection of conservatism and nationalism has been found to pose challenges to gender equality policy implementation.



Gender-Based Approaches in Contemporary Iranian Art and Culture: A Critical View

Combiz Moussavi Aghdam

Tehran University of Art, Iran, Islamic Republic of

In the last three decades, gender research and queer theory have been used to analyse socio-political-historical changes across the globe. Based on non-binary definitions of gender and sexuality, these new poststructuralist approaches have also been applied to explain the transformation of gender roles in modern non-Western societies. However, the applications of feminist and queer theories in different contexts can sometimes be challenging and disputable.

In this paper, I will mainly focus on the methodological challenges that scholars of gender studies have faced within their psycho-social analyses of non-Western cultures. I intend to explore these difficulties with regard to a specific historical, geographical and cultural example and focus on the changes in gender dynamics in modern Iranian society and their visual demonstration. The fluid nature of sexuality before the manifestation of modernity in early twentieth century Iran and the tensional and transitional condition of gender roles in recent decades have led some social historians to apply gender-oriented approaches to the field. The ironic characteristic of visual material has also provided a suitable basis for rereading and analysing the changes in Iranian sexual culture. One of the key concepts in this area of research is queer sexuality which could be used for both the historical past and the contemporary post-revolutionary Iran. With special reference to art and visual culture in contemporary Iran, this paper will critically examine the ways in which feminist and queer theories have been utilised and adopted within the Iranian milieu.



Women Entrepreneurs: New Ideas, Old Practices

Avi Shnider, Anat Guy

College of Management, Israel

This study explores the reasoning and motivation of middle and upper middle class women in Israel who chose to become entrepreneurs. Current literature perceives women’s entrepreneurship mainly as a potential source of economic and social development for these women who seek mainly new opportunities that may not be available to them in the corporate western markets. By contrast, we suggest that although women's entrepreneurship serves as way to include women within the labor market it also reproduces social rules and structures, similar to those of the corporative market.

By employing mixed methods of both quantitative and qualitative approaches, we analyze the motivation and reasoning of 70 entrepreneur women from Israel to choose entrepreneurship. Our findings suggest that although highly, professional, well- educated middle and upper middle class women become entrepreneur, they also limit their businesses to female-type occupation. By limiting their business operation, middle and upper-middle class women reproduce traditional gender roles, and reinforce the traditional perception that the main role of the Israeli woman is to be a mother. This study points out then, the ways whereby women entrepreneurship serves as a social practice that reinforces gender hierarchy and social order.



 
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