Gendered Excellence in the Social Sciences

GESS project summary

Feminist scholarship has been central to the international success and prominence of the Australian social sciences. But how effective has feminist critique been in reshaping what counts as authoritative knowledge in the disciplines?

About the project

Gender equity has still not been realised, despite decades of activism, policy and research. In some of the social sciences women make up less than 15 per cent of the professoriate. Yet these are the disciplines that should most aid our understanding of how gender works in society. This project asks what impact women’s limited influence and status in these key fields of research has upon our capacity to grapple with the social and political changes necessary for progress toward gender equality. In doing so, it builds persuasive arguments about how and why gender matters in the social sciences.

The project takes a new approach to advancing gender equity within Australian society by asking how well we can understand the problems if we do not first address patterns of gender bias within the social sciences. The project provides a complex picture of why social science disciplines differ so markedly in this respect and the costs for disciplinary innovation and social change. It also provides case-studies of gender innovation in the social sciences and its benefits.

How gender can transform the social sciences: Innovation and impact

NEWS!! Gendered innovation case studies prepared for the GESS project will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020.

This collection, edited by Marian Sawer, Fiona Jenkins and Karen Downing, turns a spotlight on the contribution being made by gender innovation across the social sciences. The case studies show how the application of a gender lens has improved the understanding of fundamental questions. Each of the case studies begins with the gaps in knowledge that existed in a particular subject area before explaining how gender perspectives provided a sharper focus and new scholarly, disciplinary and policy insights.

 

Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute