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Gender, agency, and embodiment theories in relation to space in Gender, cities and local governance
The Nordic Africa Institute.
2011 (English)In: Gouvernance locale dans le monde arabe et en Méditerranée : Quels rôles pour les femmes ?: Local Governance in the Arab world and the Mediterranean: What roles for women? / [ed] Sylvette Denèfle & Safaa Monqid, Cairo: Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales (CEDEJ) , 2011Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Why (and how) is it important to query into the particular lived experiences and ‘embodied agency’ of women if we want to study urban spaces through the lens of gender?  This paper discusses this overarching question in relation to recent dynamic and generative theories of gender, embodiment and agency.  This theoretical framework connects subjects’ identities to dominant discourses and social structures with the help of lived experiences.  This is particularly fruitful because it makes it possible to analyse agents within a context of social, cultural and political change.  It also means the possibility to grasp women’s narratives and body language as they engage in acts of resistance, as well as the marking of body and space.  The actions of ‘the secret self’ among younger generations, for example, give increased space and have manipulative potential as long as these ‘morally forbidden’ and dishonourable acts are not brought out into the public sphere.  This approach is relevant since it is possible to analyse the singularity of experience, not only as a form of social interaction, but as linked to social structures and discourses, which implies negotiations of tensions, conflicts and uncertainties.  The need to understand agency as the capacity to act according to the exigencies of the specific socio-cultural forms the main premise of this paper; where each context comprises the complex interaction between the local and a variety of wider global forces.  My approach is to combine experience with representation through phenomenology and ethnography.  I use experience near ethnography that begins with women’s own practices and attends to how they understand themselves, how their bodies are involved in this process and how they live out norms and ideologies in their everyday lives.  Thereby we are able to understand how women’s realities and identities are interpreted, negotiated and constructed, and how the body actively is involved in these processes.

Abstract [fr]

L’auteur s’interroge dans cet article sur l’intérêt d’étudier les espaces urbains à travers le prisme du genre et nous montre comment cette approche théorique permet d’analyser la singularité de l’expérience vécue, non seulement comme une forme d’interaction sociale, mais comme liée à des structures sociales, ce qui implique des négociations, des tensions, des conflits et des incertitudes. Elle montre la nécessité d’une approche en termes de contextes de changement social, culturel et politique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cairo: Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales (CEDEJ) , 2011.
Keyword [en]
urban space, gender, embodiment, agency, theory, female circumcision
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-1600ISBN: 2905838-48-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-1600DiVA: diva2:564146
Note

For orders and inquiries, please contact Mrs. Elham Naim: elham@cedej-eg.org Thank you for agreeing to share information in your network. Sale price in Cairo: 120 L.E. Selling prices abroad 25 euros + shipping

This book attempts to take stock of the place and role of women in various countries of the Mediterranean world and addresses these issues from different perspectives: the mobility of women in the city and how they use urban space, security and social relations in the city, the place of women in urban management and governance systems. The comparative analysis of different contexts and diversity of cases treated provide a new and enriching light on recent social and political developments. This book brings together contributions that were presented in April 2010, Cairo (Egypt), during the symposium "Gender, cities and local governance in the Arab world and the Mediterranean: What role for women? " Cet ouvrage tente de faire le point sur la place et le rôle des femmes dans divers pays du monde méditerranéen et aborde ces questions sous divers angles : la mobilité des femmes dans la ville et l’utilisation qu’elles ont de l’espace urbain, la sécurité et les relations sociales dans la ville, la place des femmes dans la gestion urbaine et dans les systèmes de gouvernance. L’analyse comparative des contextes différents et la diversité des cas traités apportent un regard neuf et un éclairage enrichissants sur les évolutions sociales et politiques récentes.

Available from: 2012-11-01 Created: 2012-11-01 Last updated: 2012-11-13Bibliographically approved

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