Gender and intersectionality

International feminist discourses and movements and their impact on, reception in, and meaning for South Tyrol

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Project description

Gender, understood as a socially constructed dimension of identity, a gendered set of societal norms and role expectations, as well as a category informing power relations, is a complex subject of research. To understand its interactions and overlaps with other dimensions of diversity, adopting an intersectional lens is crucial. “Gender and intersectionality” will take on a global-local approach, looking at international feminist discourses and movements and their impact on, reception in, and meaning for South Tyrol.

Focusing on gender-equality activism and gender-related narratives, the project will look at how gender – through feminist ideas and movements – entered the public debate and the political landscape of South Tyrol since the 1950s, highlighting the connections with the concomitant discussions on femininity, masculinities and women’s rights, and how it has evolved throughout the decades, getting in contact with intersectional, postcolonial and trans*feminist and LGBTQIA+ approaches as a result of its encounters with authors and activists situated in non-European contexts.

The project aims at sketching the profiles of local feminist/LGBTQIA+/gender-equality activists and reconstructing the concepts and narratives as well as the practices that they have developed. It will also detect the main resistances to feminist transformative efforts by analyzing the main counternarratives, practices and actors that have emerged.

To do so, the project proposes the following main research questions:

  • What are the peculiarities of South Tyrolean gender-related activism?
  • What have been its main achievements and limitations as far as access to the public sphere and gaining political consensus are concerned?
  • What are the present challenges?
  • What is the role of social media in reinforcing, but also in breaking gendered role expectations?
  • How can instances of gendered violence online (e.g., sexualized hate speech against women, misogynist disinformation spread in the so-called “Manosphere”) be counteracted?
  • How can technologies (artificial intelligence, assistance systems) be designed in a more inclusive way and without gendered stereotypes?

To answer these questions, various methods will be used, including critical discourse analysis.