Abstracts for workshops – Københavns Universitet

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Koordinationen for Kønsforskning > Koordinationens arrangementer > Årskonferencen 2016: Bodies. Big Data. Believers > Abstracts for workshops

There will be two workshop sessions during the conference on Friday the 29th of April. Here you can read the abstracts for workshops in session I and II. 

WORKSHOP SESSION I: Friday 11.00-12.30

Quantitative Methodologies/Big data

Chair:  Inge Henningsen

Ruth Emerek: ”Intersectionality - and the empirical evidence in form of interaction”

With the Danish gender equality act of 2000, it was formally introduced that all public planning in Denmark shall be gender mainstreamed. Therefore the authorities have to develop methods and tools to analyse the gender impact of new regulations and initiatives.

One essential precondition for gender mainstreaming is access to information regarding gender differences and similarities. However, this is not enough. Not all women have lower salaries than all men - or have higher education than all men, and the question is whether the increasing gender equality in some areas e.g. education, has resulted in greater inequality between categories of women and between categories of men.

In some cases two or more characteristics (e.g., gender and ethnicity) can be so closely interwoven that it makes no sense to analyse them separately, e.g. as to how women are performing in relation to men and as to how various ethnic minorities are performing compared to the majority with regard to education.

At the same time, the gender differences can be a result of other underlying factors, e.g. an average gender wage gap may be due to the fact that women and men hold different positions, and apparent gender equalities can also be misleading, e.g., women and men on average may have the same salary at a workplace, although women on average have a higher education. The question is, how to include this complexity in relation to analysing gender differences and similarities – and make gender assessment in relation to public planning.

For researchers working with statistical analyses, it is not new to consider this complexity in statistical models. Here we are working with the concept of interaction, which means that two or more factors have not only an influence individually but their intersection my also amplify or weaken each other's influence, so that the effect of these factors is neither simple additive nor simple multiplicative.

This paper lists and discusses, using examples, how one empirically may identify whether two or more characteristics have an interaction that is so essential that intersection should be taken into account rather than the individual characteristics – and vice versa how focusing on intersections may cause loss of track of the much more comprehensive gender category.

Christoffer Bagger Københavns Universitet, Vedran Sekara DTU, Tess S. Skadegård Aalborg Universitet: ”Girl meets boy (or elderly gentleman) - What Big Data can tell us about the gender-age gap in Romantic Comedy”

Recently, quantitative methods have opened up novel opportunities to examine gender, age and other representations on screen. Big Data analysis, in particular, brings about interesting new methodological and ethical challenges. The paper follows the course of an experiment which combines analysis of large amounts of data, with a critical queer-theoretical angle to the findings. The hypothesis is founded in an observation; we noted that there was a remarkable age-gap between male and female leads (both diegetic ages and actors ages), with the male roles frequently a good bit older than their female counterparts – an age gap that was particularly prevalent in romantic comedies.

The paper sets out to evaluate methodological choices and consequences. Where can one access data regarding age of actors and respective ages of the roles they play? How can this data be treated and what are the ethical and analytical considerations worth keeping in mind? The analysis examines whether there is a notable age-gap between the actors in the leading coupled roles of romantic comedies. It wishes to test the hypothesis that the male actors on average, are older than their female counterparts and romantic co-stars. It continues on to negotiate the consequences of this potential age-divide from a queer-theoretical point of view. It ties into recent discussions of industryspecific challenges, where women may end up with fewer years of screen-time, as well as the obvious wage-gap.

Mathias Fjællegaard Jensen, Selwyn College: ”The gender pay gap and part time employment in the UK”

Gender pay differentials are repeatedly explained by women’s overrepresentation in lowwage part-time employment. However, men represent an increasing share of UK part-time workers. Using 2013-2014 LFS data, this study finds a significantly smaller pay gap between women and men working part-time than between full-time women and men, contrasting previous studies. Before adjusting for characteristics, part-time women even face a pay premium when compared to part-time men. Women also experience a significantly smaller part-time pay penalty than men. A smaller part-time gender gap and gender-specific parttime penalties have policy implications; e.g. comparable worth policies should target all parttimers, not only women.

Niels Kærgård and Anders Milhøj, Københavns Universitet: ”Analysis of the dependences among answers to gender questions, religiosity and origin among Danish immigrants

This paper examines attitudes to gender aspects for various Danish immigrant groups. Is it natural that women are working at home and take care children? Or is it wrong if they do not? Is it acceptable to have a female boss at work? In a statistical analysis the answer to these questions are compared to the country of origin and level of religiosity. In addition, the differences in the answers between first generation immigrants and second generation immigrants are studied.

The data used in this analysis is part of a larger survey of values and attitudes among foreigners and Danes. In this study nine groups (first generation immigrants from Turkey, Western Balkan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam), two groups of second generation immigrants (from Turkey and Pakistan) and for comparison also a group of Danes were asked about beliefs, attitudes and values.

A conclusion is that the country of origin is significant for the atitudes, while the degree of religiosity is of less importance. Furthermore, gender equality is more accepted among second than first generation immigrants, although the degree of religiosity is actually greater among second generation immigrants.

Maria Ventegodt Liisberg, Institute of Human Rights: Gender statistics and new possibilities

Statistics Denmark and the Danish Institute for Human Rights are currently working on establishing national gender equality statistics.  In Scandinavia, including Denmark, large amounts of data are available from administrative registers, but the data has previously not been organised to measure gender equality. The gender equality indicators which will be used by Statistics Denmark in the new gender equality statistics will be inspired by the other Nordic countries and international gender equality indexes. Gender statistics enable the identification of gender equality trends and the setting of targets for policies on gender equality. Data and statistics are essential for creating momentum for change as well as for prioritising public measures to promote gender equality.


Diagnosis systems

Chair: Lourdes Cantarero Arevalo 

Laura Marie Schierff, Federik Rom Taxhjelm, Københavns Universitet: ”Bridging the supposed cis/trans divide”

The existing body of literature reports a severe prevalence of negative attitudes towards trans people and we argue that these attitudes are moored in cisnormative preconceptions of the coherency of the gendered body and pathologizations of gender transgressions. Addressing the issue from a queer perspective, we examine processes of systemic and systematic marginalization of trans people and reason how these reverberate a cultural climate reinforced by societal institutions and the social sciences. Hence, comments on and critiques of how trans people are continuously disregarded as unintelligible others are presented.

Firstly, we draw attention to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM) and the medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria as an empirical case. We argue that the DSM-5 diagnostics construct trans people as illogical, infantilized, inauthentic, confused, and perverted beings – as mentally ill abjects. Secondly, we argue that the misrecognition of trans people is not only to be found within medicine and psychiatry, it is thriving in the social sciences. We identify a sociological disinterest in the trans figure, and we wish to expose the urgent need for a critical self-reflexivity in the illumination of how disciplines such as sociology, neuroscience, and gender studies (unintentionally) risk contributing to the vulnerability of trans people. Our ambition is to equip future empirical research with a vocabulary enabling a cultivation of a solidarity bridging the supposed cis/trans divide. Hence, conceptualizing the marginalization of trans people as of majority concern, refraining from addressing trans people as a minority with special needs. Having higher ambitions for the sociological imagination than understanding the world in binaries, a future sociology that renounces fixed ideas of what constitutes femininity or masculinity, bridging the gap between cis experience and trans experience, is declared.

Franziska Bork-Petersen: Transgender utopia – queer dystopia?

With a vast increase in positively reported transgender stories, 2015 has been considered a breakthrough year for transgenderism. Building on my on-going postdoctoral research into the relationship between bodies and utopianism, this presentation scrutinizes what aspects of transgenderism a ‘utopian perspective’ might highlight and add to the matter. How can we make sense of transgenderism with regard to utopia’s insinuated radical change from the status quo and its play on impossibility? What is the implied radicality associated with changing one’s gender identity; and does the legal and medical possibility of name and sex changes have an effect on this? Furthermore, I want to make the case that recent, comprehensively covered examples of transgenderism in the media, namely the case of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, made their mark with a less than progressive rhetoric that reinforced gender binarism. In that sense: while perhaps a utopian year in transgender reporting, has 2015 also been a year of queer dystopia?

Inge Kryger, Københavns Universitet: ”’Embodied expertise’ in alternative medicine shapes people’s lives in the name of health”

Developing the notion of ‘embodied expertise’ this paper endeavors to contribute explaining the widespread use of alternative medicine. The most recent representative national Health Interview Survey in Denmark (2013) estimates that 53.2 percent of the respondents are users or have former experiences of alternative medicine. 27.0 percent had used such services within the preceding year, compared to 10,0 percent in 1987. Defined as treatment not usually offered within the ordinary health service and without public support or control, but offered on a fee-for-service basis by non-authorised practitioners with varying types of training and certification, alternative medicine is widespread in the Scandinavian welfare states and elsewhere. In absence of a scientific or health professional consensus on which to base decision making, alternative treatments are often context-dependent.

This paper is based on ethnographic research within three of the most popular forms of session-based alternative medicine in Denmark. We have followed 46 users of acupuncture, reflexology or mindfulness meditation, conducted three in-depth interviews with each participant, and observed 92 of their treatment sessions. Drawing on sociology of expertise (Eyal 2013), the paper explores how treatments are constructed by bringing various criteria other than scientific evidence or knowledge into play, for instance the ‘tasks and problems’ to be handled in the clinic, the practitioner’s practical skills, engagement and co-work with the client. It is suggested that the notion of ‘embodied expertise’ covers practices, social, material and bodily arrangements that are involved in alternative treatments. ‘Embodied expertise’ referring to practice of the practitioner and sometimes the client as well might help us to further explain the popularity of alternative medicine by linking together techniques, time, devices, spatial, emotional, bodily and material dimensions of the treatments.


Refugees, migration and global mobility.

Chair: Verena Lennies

Marie Abell, Københavns Universitet: ”Gendered impacts on administrative detention of asylum seekers”

The paper explores whether administrative detention of asylum seekers in Denmark can be considered a ‘legally designated absence of rights’ and to what extent gender plays a role in this practice? It examines the legal basis and employment of the aliens act § 36. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s critique of the legal position of refugees in custody of the Nation-states and Giorgio Agamben’s concept of ‘the state of exception,’ the paper argues that refugees are placed in a legal gab. Their present and future lies in the hand of the authorities, and the judgements are often obscure and based on legislation that in important aspects does not follow basic legal principles. Using Judith Butler’s concept of the ‘frame of recognition,’ the paper argues that gender becomes a determining factor in a system where administrative detention is assigned, in part, on the basis of compassion from the authorities. The paper concludes that gender impacts the male asylum seeker, who cannot call for other commiserations than the one of being human in a system, where discretions has a large impact on the legal position of asylum seekers.

Asta Smedegaard Nielsen: ’The refugee child’ and the beings and becomings of the racialized European minority position of ’the immigrant’

The presentation has as its empirical focus the images and stories of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old child who last year drowned and washed ashore on a beach in Turkey, while he and his family on their flight from the Syrian war, tried to cross the Mediterranean to seek protection in the EU. The presentation considers the convergence between ‘new’ and ‘old’ media in the news production on the current refugee situation. It focuses on the figure of ‘the refugee child’, and considers how the affective work of ‘the refugee child’ folds the current refugee situation into the racialized structuring of Europe. As such, it situates the current situation historically by considering how it plays into debates, disputes and societal configurations concerning the constitution of a racialized minority in Europe, often phrased as ‘Muslims’, ‘immigrants’ or ‘people of Arab/Middle Eastern origin’. ‘The child’ is particularly interesting, first, due to its high emotional appeal for care and being saved. And second, the child plays a significant role for the constitution of race, as it on the one hand, represents the bearer of ‘the race’ as being reproduced through kinship, and on the other hand, is represented as human-in-the-making, as malleable, and thus bears a potential of transgressing race. As part of the affective work of the images of the child, the study aims to investigate which relations of e.g. care, love, rescue and capability are at work, in order to consider if and how these constitute the racialized relation between a predominantly white European, as the receiver of refugees, and the racialized position of ‘the immigrant’, as represented by the refugees.

However, by focusing on the convergence of ‘new’ and ‘old’ media, with its variety of media producers, it also investigates if the diversity of media producers reflects a corresponding diversity concerning the ways the phenomena race, whiteness, racialization and racism are performed.

Nazila Kivi, Københavns Universitet: ”The contruction and (re)production of ’the migrant  woman’ as a concept in the danish health research: Midwives’ attitudes and beliefs towards migrant women in antenatal health care”

Disparities in still births and infant mortality among women with minority ethnic background/racialized status has been documented in a Danish context; however the reasons are not yet fully illuminated. Introducing critical race and feminist theory and a discoursive analysis to practical health care research, this study aims to identify general misconceptions and beliefs about minority women and highlight midviwes’ own experiences with resisting stereotypes and prejudice about this diverse group of women.

The study is based on qualitative data from individual and group interviews with the midwives involved in an intervention project to improve intercultural communication with minority women. A further analysis of the concepts and beliefs about ‘migrant women’ that are common in the health care system and among midwives will be analyzed and unfolded in order to reorient future research in the field and avoid misconceptions, stigma and the use of ’cultural’ explanations.

Conclusion: Explaining disparities in health with reference to culture is misleading at best and can be harmful in the way the aleanate minority groups and have the potential to distrupt the trust that is necessary between midwives and pregnant women in antenatal care. Supporting midviwes in resisting cultural explanations and trust their professional skills as alternative to stereotyped beliefs will empower both midviwes and minority women and lead to better care, hence greater equity in health for women of ethnic and racial minority background.

Gender, Work and Organization

Chair: Hilda Rømer

Ronja Mannov Olesen, Lund University: ”Working for change: experiences of Swedish and Danish diversity consultants”

This paper takes a qualitative study of six diversity consultants as its empirical basis. The six participants, two in Sweden and four in Denmark, interviewed for the research project are all organizational outsiders: they consult organizations on how to create diverse workplaces. The interdisciplinary, analytical framework consists of feminist, queer, anti-racist, affect and critical diversity theories. The focus of the paper concerns experiences of resistance from organizational actors, how to engage and maintain an interest in diversity work in organizations as an outsider, and the motivations of the participants. The participants in this project all work in order to create change and inclusion in workplaces. However, they approach this work differently, and while some rely predominantly on business case approaches, others merge it with social justice arguments. My analysis suggests that the paradigms of the participants vary due to differences in personal and educational background, and that participants based in Sweden experience increased legitimacy and freedom to choose discursive strategies than those in Denmark, who experience a somewhat skeptical attitude toward diversity initiatives. I conclude that detailed, preventive measures in workplace legislation and policies are key to an increased legitimization of diversity work, but also that the study points out that the role of the diversity professional is a complex and disputed one, and that 'diversity' has many connotations in the Scandinavian welfare states.


Sarah Forti, Critical Rights & Gender Consult I/S: ”Refocusing gender equality on gender justice: A critique of the politics of gender equality interpreation in the field of international development assistance”

Inspired by the works of Nancy Frasers’, her understanding of ‘Gender Justice’ in N Fraser, Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World (Columbia University Press 2009), the thesis provided a critical analysis of the interpretation of gender equality in the field of IDA.

The various interpretations examined are extracted from key spheres composing the field of IDA, such as the theory, international legislation and international policy, donor and national policy and the programme sphere at field level. These reveal the prevalence of certain underpinning ideological perspectives and the absence of others. The paper discusses in particular the significance and implication of using hegemonic identity politics perspectives including Third Worldist, anti-essentialist, difference, cultural relativist and post colonialist perspectives in the interpretation of gender equality in IDA. One of the key implications discussed is the eclipse of other relevant focuses such as redistribution, the universality of gender inequalities and violations of women’s human rights. The paper ultimately draws key orientations to refocus gender equality, beyond the politics of identity, towards gender justice in the field of IDA.

Marie Sihm og Stine Emilie Knudsen, Forsvarsakademiets Institut for Organisation og Ledelse: Gender  and Soldier

The Danish Armed Forces (DAF) constitutes an important empirical field. The military profession was the last male occupational monopoly to be abolished from the Danish labour market and, furthermore, the military constitutes an archetypical symbol of masculinity, characterized by physical strength, endurance and non-emotional logic. Today, women can serve in all military functions even those of combat. Even though these policies have enhanced the opportunities for women in the army, it has proved a challenge for the DAF to increase the percentage of women in military professions. Women are still a minority and the DAF continues to face difficulties, in terms of retention of female soldiers. We argue that it is challenging for the female combat soldiers to ignore the importance of their gendered bodies, in the daily life as combat soldiers. We show how the position of female combat soldiers in the military community is determined by their own ability to navigate within gendered expectations of women and within the expectations of soldierhood. The female combat soldiers cannot enter and succeed within the army of the DAF, without being able to master a challenging balance between breaking down negative expectations of their gender, but continuously manoeuvre within limitations of an accepted form of femininity.

Ethnography, Bodies and Gender

Chair: Bodil Just Christensen

Rasmus Kidde, Andreas Volquartz Overgaard, Københavns Universitet: ”Ladies’ Lunch – showing gendered sensualities through a piece of narrative collaborative autoethnography ”

This paper is a piece of collaborative autoethnography examining the experience of being male waiters at a ‘ladies’ lunch’. Ladies’ lunch is an event for women of all ages and it typically takes place at flea markets and festivals in small and medium-sized Danish towns. Between 500 and 1300 women participate in these events where they eat and drink together in a large tent, while a number of men volunteer as waiters.

The phenomenon is characterized by a performance of gender clichés. The theoretical basis is therefore inspired by Henning Bech's concept of gender games that focuses on a lustful and reflexive-ironic approach to the way of doing gender. The argument of this paper follows this string of thought, but further adds a concept of authenticity to the relations between women and men inside the tent. We call this concept ‘mutual pleasure relations’. In short blinks one seems not to be at ironic distance of oneself, but rather just to be immediately near the other. A bodily rooted sense of present-being where dichotomous-hierarchical subject-object relations between 'man' and 'woman' seem impossible to identify. Being male servant at a ladies’ lunch follows a constant shift between the ironic play with distance, aesthetics and sexualisation of the gender game on one side and the genuine present-being of the mutual pleasure relation on the other side.

Methodologically the paper takes departure in a participant observation study of a ladies’ lunch, which takes form as a piece of collaborative autoethnography. It merges four narrative voices into one and constructs the sociological analysis as a narrative that lends its main stylistic inspiration from literary writing. The paper hereby insists on the writing’s potential to show sensibilities and sensualities in a genuinely experienced connection to another human being. A connection which exists bodily and spatially in the immediate situation thus aiming at bypassing reductionist conceptual dichotomies of our gendered relations.

Marie Odgaard, Aarhus Universitet: "Translating ambiguous desires"

Through a focus on social interaction the paperadresses the difficulties of studying LGBTQ in the Middle East when responding to claims of "sexual orientalism", the imposing of western concepts abou sexual orientation and gender identity. The paper takes it point of departement in a short term, four months ethnographic fieldwork. The study looks into the merging urban context in  the city as it asks;  what roles urban spaces, imagined as well as physical, play for these individuals when they engage in and reflect on shaping their positions in society. The study furthermore addresses the role online media play in this positioning.Through Addressing the relationship between feminism and anthropology, the paper wishes to spark the ongoing discussions of the call for reorientating focus to the daily practices, ambiguities and the orientating of desires by individuals who identify as LGBTQ in contemporary "non-western" contexts.A focus on an analysis of shared ambiguity of continously changing life worlds is of significance to the direction that this paper hopes to elaborate.

WORKSHOP SESSION II: Friday 13.30-15.00

Religion and Gender

Chair:  Johanne Stubbe

Caroline Sofie Balschmidt, Københavns Universitet: ”Womanism after Feminism: An investigation of Theological Epistemology”  

Feminism is often used as the umbrella term for the entire field of gender studies, yet this is a simplification. Recently, a branch of gender studies has been focusing on the conditions and concerns of black women; this focal point has been named ‘womanism’. The movement has grown from the cultural, political, social, and religious environments of primarily African-American women, but also Latin-American and Native-American women are of concern to the womanist movement. The need for such an extra branch might seem redundant. However, there is a fundamental issue generated from putting all your feminist eggs in one basket, and that is the difference in epistemology associated with the two.

This study claims that the social construction of black womanhood is formed in a feminist context. At the same time, the two ideas spring from opposite ends of the social- and economic hierarchy scale, and they therefore differ from each other epistemologically. One of the epistemological discourses in which they differ from each other is theology. Theology is the study of an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and worldviews. Thus, the study of theology, the epistemology of theology in different social settings is of tremendous value to this study.

This paper aims to investigate how the inequality between black women and white women has influenced the epistemology of womanist theology and feminist theology.

Feminist Economy

Chair:  Inge Henningsen

Freya Casier, University of Copenhagen: “Feminist economics – An introduction”

Feminist economics is a school within economics which focuses on the structural inequalities relating to primarily gender. Their work situates itself in the intersection between the construction of gender and the construction of science. Although the school cannot be reduced to a single normative agenda, they are primarily concerned with understanding gender inequalities through making visible the experiences and perspectives of women, modifying existing or providing new theories, methods and practices that identify and counter structural inequalities and reinterpreting knowledge through a more inclusive approach. Examples of areas of interest would be segregated labor markets, equal pay, dependencies between paid and unpaid work and the separation between public and privates sphere as an analytical framework. The presentation will give an introduction to what feminist economics is and how research from this school can be used to broaden our understanding of gendered inequalities and the relationship between economics organization and gender norms.

Frank Skov, Forskningschef, CEVEA: ”Vi kender ADAM. Men hvem er EVA?”

No abstract.

Karen Sjørup, Lektor, kønsforsker, RUC, Institut for Samfund og Erhverv: Sådan bortforklarede man uligelønnen

I årene 2008-2010 arbejdede Lønkommissionen for bl.a. at gennemlyse strukturerne i lønforskellene ml. kvinder og mænd i den offentlige sektor. Kommissionen kom til veje i forlængelse af sygeplejerskernes og sosu'ernes lange strejker for dels flere varme hænder og dels højere løn i årene op til 2008.

Kommissoriet for kommissionen var ikke mindst at finde et alternativ til det af arbejdsgiverne foretrukne begreb 'løn pr præsteret time'. Ikke mindst fordi fagbevægelsens repræsentanter og nogle af os ekspertmedlemmer mente, at dette begreb let kom til i sig selv at reducere forskellen på mænds og kvinders løn, idet fx en barselsorlov kunne få lønnen pr præsteret time for kvinder til at se for høj ud. Man udviklede derfor begrebet 'løn pr standardberegnet time' som i højere grad afspejler den faktiske lønudbetaling pr time.

Imidlertid dækkede denne manøvre ikke behovet for at afdække årsager til, at lønforskellen mellem kvinder og mænd alligevel var og er stor. Derfor gennemførte man i et underudvalg sammenligninger af lønnen i hhv typiske kvindefag og typiske mandefag i jobs, som kunne hævdes at have samme værdi set i forhold til krævet uddannelse, ansvarsniveau, arbejdsforhold og risici. Der konstaterede man, at lønnen i typiske kvindefag fx sygeplejerske, socialrådgiver og fysioterapeut var markant lavere end i typiske mandefag som diplomingeniører, teknikere og håndværkere. Disse forskelle udgjorde op til 50 pct.

Imidlertid fandt man især blandt arbejdsgiverrepræsentanterne, men også blandt såvel fagbevægelsesreprlsentanter som eksperter, at der her ikke var tale om ulige løn for arbejde af samme værdi, men derimod om forklarede forskelle.

Det betød, at man af de samlede 17 pct, forskel mellem mænds og kvinders løn i det offentlige, kun fandt, at 1-2 pct. kunne betragtes som uforklaret forskel og dermed kun en ganske marginal egentlig  ulige løn. Dermed kunne Claus Hjorth som også daværende finansminister konkludere, at vi ikke har noget problem med ulige løn i den offentlige sektor. Det gjorde han strategisk dagen før rapporten blev offentliggjort samtidig med at pressearbejdet blev nøje tilrettelagt med kommunikationstræning og kommunikationsekspert, der effektivt forhindrede kritikere i at komme til nogen talerstol.

Siden da er lønforskellen mellem kvinder og mænd blot fortsat med at stige. Således tjener den gennemsnitlige mandlige akademiker på tværs af sektorer og alder i dag 100.000 kr mere end den gennemsnitlige kvindelige akademiker. Den gennemsnitlige mandlige faglærte arbejder 60.000 kr mere end den gennemsnitlige kvindelige faglærte arbejder (der er her ikke taget højde for forskel i arbejdstid).

Man kan således spørge sig selv:

  • Råder der stadig en uudtalt diskurs om, at kvinder skal tjene mindre end mænd, således at de stadig er relativt afhængige af mændenes forsørgelse?
  • Bidrager kvinder selv til opretholdelsen af denne diskurs for ikke at anfægte mænds selvbillede som hovedforsørgere?
  • Eller er det stadig kun de færreste, som kan gennemskue forhandlingssystemets indbyggede mandlige dominans?
  • Hvordan er det muligt konkret i overenskomstsystemet at tage højde for denne strukturelle ulighed?

Inge Henningsen, Kvinderådet: ”Skat og ligestilling”

For at fremme ligestillingen er det vigtigt at politiske indgreb på skatteområdet ikke har en negativ indflydelse på kvinders stilling i samfundet. Den måde staten rejser indtægter på kan have forskellig indvirkning på kvinder og mænd. Udformningen af skattesystemet kan påvirke både indkomstfordelingen mellem kvinder og mænd (fordelings virkning) samt fordelingen af lønnet og ulønnet arbejde (allokerings virkning). Mainstreaming af den generelle skattepolitik kan i væsentlig grad forbedre kvaliteten af den statslige finansielle politik.

I Danmark har analyser af de sidste store skattereformer har vist at 2/3 af skattelettelserne gik til mænd. Dette var primært en konsekvens af sænkede marginalskatter. Det samme vil blive tilfældet, hvis regeringen til efteråret får gennemført sine planer om yderligere sænkning af skat på høje indtægter.

Det gigantiske læk af hemmelige papirer fra Panama har sat fokus på skatteunddragelse og skattely. Ifølge tal fra Nationalbanken er udgjorde de årlige overførsler fra Danmark til skattely i 2014 133 milliarder kroner. Samtidig anslås det, at der i Danmark mangler betaling af skatterestancer for 78 mia kr på grund af de voldsomme nedskæringer i skat. Senest er 9. mia. skattekroner via bankerne forsvundet ud af landet på grund af manglende tilsyn. De manglende skatteindtægter har ført til større ulighed og nedskæringer på velfærd og uddannelse, der alt i alt betyder større pres på kvinders liv.

Skattelovgivning og skatteunddragelse har ligestillingsmæssige konsekvenser, selv om skiftende danske regeringer har nægtet overhovedet at kønskonsekvensvurdere skattelovgivningen.

I ligestillingssammenhæng har vi brug for

  • Kønssensitive analyser af skattesystemet.

  • Forskning for at øge viden om sammenhængen mellem ligestilling mellem kønnene og skattepolitik.

  • En  seriøs indsats mod alle former for skatteunddragelse

  • Styrkelse af demokratisk kontrol og civilsamfunds indflydelse for at sikre ansvarlighed og lydhørhed fra for regeringen i i tilfælde af ændrede skatteindtægter.


Reproductive Technologies

Chair: Freya Semenda

Mathilde Lykkebo, Syddansk Universitet: ” The sensory materiality of egg donation”

In the last thirty to forty years, reproductive technologies have undergone a vigorous development; new methods being constantly added and new improvements in medical and technological knowledge and practices in assisted reproduction developed. One of the more recent developments is egg donation.

The framework for this paper is a current PhD project about egg donation in Denmark, where I investigate how the phenomenon of egg donation is established through the egg donors’ experiences. Building on new materialist theorist Karen Barad’s framework agential realism and methodological approaches from sensory ethnography (e.g. Sarah Pink, Phillip Vannini) I focus particularly on body, technology, materiality and sensuousness in the phenomenon of egg donation.

Egg donation is a process where a woman goes through hormonal treatment and a minor operation to retrieve eggs from her ovaries to donate to another woman’s fertility treatment. It is this bodily-medical-technological practice that forms the main focus of the project, and the interest of how the material aspects of a phenomenon can be understood as having agency, and not least, how these ‘material agencies’ can be explored methodically.

In this presentation, I use empirical examples from my fieldwork (interviews with egg donors, observations in fertility clinics, audio recordings, photo material and possibly video material) to demonstrate and discuss the possibilities and potentials put forward when focusing on sensory experience and materiality. The main subject I reflect upon is how ‘materiality’ can be explored through methods of sensory ethnography and new materialist theory.

Freya Semenda, Københavns Universitet: ”Genetics in the legal regulation of parenthood”

The Danish legal framework on parentage is to a large extend constructed around the Roman principles ‘Mater semper certa est’ (The mother is always certain) and Pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant (The father is he who is married to the mother). As a consequence motherhood is linked to the act of giving birth to a child, whereas fatherhood is constructed around the marriage (or relationship) between a man and the mother of the child. As a result, neither legal motherhood nor legal fatherhood is necessarily based on genetics according to the Danish Children’s Act. Strikingly, genetics play a different and more decisive role when defining parenthood in family-reunification cases regulated by the Danish Immigration Act, and it follows from case-law that the term ‘parent’ in the Immigration Act includes only genetic relationships between parent and child. On this backdrop I argue that the emphasized role of genetics in immigration cases serves to illustrate, that the legal framework is not only based upon an exclusionary heteronormative nuclear-family model, but also contains nationalistic mechanisms of exclusion.

Rachel Vaden Allison, Københavns Universitet: ”Always infertile- The Chronicity of Illness in Contemporary Narratives of Reproductive Difficulty”

This paper I explore the contemporary temporal configuration of infertility in the Baltimore metropolitan area, approaching this experience through the use of an analytical concept, which I refer to as the chronicity of illness. I do so by examining the experience of reproduction gone awry within three temporally demarcated periods – diagnostic time, vital time, and beyond resolution. Within diagnostic time I explore contemporary perceptions of reproductive difficulty and the way in which infertility sufferers are forced to fight for disease awareness and recognition. I subsequently examine the ‘punctuated chronicity’ of the infertile experience within the acute setting of vital time, illustrating the intensity of this period through an exploration of the inherent temporalities of suspension, time-discipline, and duration. Lastly, I demonstrate the continuing effects of the struggle and intensity of the experience of reproduction gone awry in the period of infertility beyond resolution, arguing for the chronicity of illness as demonstrated in the way in which sufferers come to perceive of themselves as ‘always infertile’ despite, in most instances, the ability to conceive and carry a child to term.

Using this temporal approach to the experience of infertility I seek to illustrate the way in which these three periods relate to one another and converge to produce the chronicity of illness. Moreover, in demonstrating the chronicity of illness through the ethnographic example of infertility, this analysis seeks to counter the wider chronic-acute dichotomy, which exists within biomedical disease classification, demonstrating the way in which – following the advent and uptake of new reproductive technologies – acuteness and chronicity have become entangled in the everyday experiences of reproductive illness.

Stine Willum Adrian, Aalborg Universitet: ”Selecting Danish sperm on the (ethical) border…”

During the past years, Denmark has become a destination for fertility travellers, in need of donated sperm. Today, treatment is possible no matter of marital status or sexuality. Furthermore, users of sperm donation can choose between anonymous and non-anonymous sperm, with either basic information (phenotypical descriptions) or extended profiles, including descriptions of the donors hobbies, looks and likes. I find fertility travellers crossing the Danish border particularly interesting, because many of them travel in order to bypass a national legislation. In this presentation, I will be exploring the question: How are women and their partners accounting for choosing a sperm donor, crossing the (ethical) border to Denmark? The use of the term accountability is central, because it implies both a theoretical and methodological inspirations from Donna Haraway and Karen Barad.

The idea is to use accountability as a theoretical and methodological concept that enables the development of an ethics of practices. The presentation is based on a multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork at a Danish private fertility clinic, and a Danish sperm bank. The presentation will mainly draw on interviews with fertility travellers going through treatment with donor sperm in Denmark.

Fat, Fitness, Pharma, Food

Chair: Lotte Holm

Bodil Just Christensen, Københavns Universitet: “ Normativities of obesity surgery – a gender perspective”

Researchers are divided on the subject of bariatric surgery, its efficiency, safety and morality. The procedures provoke disagreement and strong opinions. The debate is dominated by an overall division between social sciences and medical sciences. On the one hand social scientists, notably from feminist and critical obesity studies, have argued that weight loss is not a choice but an obligation as obesity is seen as the result of a moral failure of individual responsibility. These perspectives conjure a conception of surgery as the epitome of bodily objectification, one that represents a medically mediated regime of governmentality and the neoliberal self – in short: surgery is coercive and ‘bad’. In contrast medical accounts stress surgery as ‘the most effective treatment in morbidly obese patients’, facilitating sustained weight loss and important benefits on a range of health parameters; hence surgery is ‘good’.

Based on ethnography from Denmark the present paper discusses the normative specificities of bariatric surgery with a special focus on gender perceptions and roles. What are patients’ expectations, fears, hopes and desires? And how are these gendered? What happen to the body? And how does surgery alter concerns, aspirations and daily practices? A focal point in the presentation will be how surgery enables the emergence of gendered objectifications and subjectifications.

Mie Birk Jensen, Aarhus Universitet and Professor Geoffrey Hun,  Institute of Scientific Analysis (ISA), San Francisco, USA : ”Body currency: embodying intoxicated pleasures and risks”

In this paper, I will explore the concept of Body Currency. Although originally used online among feminist activists as part of the so-called fat-positivity movement (see links below), I will expand the concept in order to explore the experiences of drinking among young Danes (18-25) with a specific focus on the ways in which the respondents make meaning of how they read intoxicated bodies when drinking. Body currency is originally used to describe the normative perception in the relation between bodies and emotions, where for example confidence and happiness is seen as belonging to the ‘good body’, for example the ‘fit’ body, scrutinizing more marginalized bodies performing these emotions labelling them as ‘bad examples’ or ‘immoral’. Drinking alcohol seems to add an interesting complexity to how people perceive the normative relations between which bodies that can or should display what emotional states, and if we are to perceive intoxication as an embodied as well as emotional state, then it becomes interesting to ask how the currency of the intoxicated body can be negotiated among young drinkers. Drawing on Hochschild’s work (2003) I argue that body currency can provide a theoretical link between emotion theory, the alcohol field and the concept of embodiment, which enables us to understand how people negotiate the value of their own choices as well as how they ascribe worth to the bodies of others. Although primarily a theoretical issue, I develop the concept through my on-going research as part of a larger empirical study on gendered drinking styles among the young Danes in which I plan to make use of body currency to add depth to an analysis of who can perform what forms of pleasure and risk when drinking to intoxication.

Verena Lenneis and Gertrud Pfister, Københavns Universitet: ”Health, the body and physical activity: attitudes and practices of migrant women. An inquiry into the lives of female cleaners in Denmark”

Numerous reports identify migrant women from non-western countries as a population group which is greatly affected by chronic illnesses. Health authorities tend to attribute their health problems to their lifestyle, for example refraining from participation in recreational physical activity. However, little is known about the perspectives of the targets of health promotion, i.e. their perceptions of and lived experiences with health recommendations as well as with sport and exercise. In this article we investigate migrant women’s attitudes and practices, in particular with regard to physical activity.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 33 female migrant cleaners from non-western countries which provided insights into their everyday lives. We analysed the material drawing on the literature related to migrant women and exercise, with a focus on Foucauldian scholars who have used the concepts of governmentality and disciplinary power. The interviewees’ narratives about sport and exercise focused mainly on weight loss and the discrepancy between the western ideal of slimness and their overweight bodies. However, the potential benefits of recreational physical activity did not lead to participation. Constraints to participation were lack of time and exhaustion caused by the demands of the women’s jobs and a “second shift” at home. These findings confirm that the preoccupation with a healthy lifestyle is a privilege of the middle class.

Therefore, health policies must adapt to the needs of marginalized groups and take structural factors, such as the organization of the labour market and the gendered division of work, into consideration.