Gender equity in Austrian university contexts: Constructions of power, knowledge, and response-ability in the process of change

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Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education, Page: 191-213

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Rebecca Ropers-Huilman; Leah J. Reinert; Kate Diamond
Springer Nature
Social Sciences
book chapter description
Throughout the world, policy makers and government leaders see gender equity as necessary for educational institutions to achieve their potential within the larger society. This chapter uses feminist poststructuralism to investigate how gender equity work is understood and enacted in Austrian university contexts to highlight how gender is constructed within discourses that are shaped by relations of power and knowledge. Given that gender equity is part of a broader agenda of educational equity, we center this analysis on the ways in which historically marginalized people and their allies can move toward equity in universities. Specifically, we use interview data to illuminate how power, knowledge, and response-ability (or the ability of individuals to respond within their contexts) are constructed by policies and practices meant to expand opportunities for women and others who have been historically marginalized in their educational systems.