Gender Expertise in Public Policy: Towards a Theory of by Season Hoard (auth.)

By Season Hoard (auth.)

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By Season Hoard (auth.)

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Necessity Guideline Identifying the dimensions or defining characteristics of the concepts employed in empirical research is undoubtedly an important enterprise; however, it is also important to analyze whether any of these characteristics are necessary. Goertz and Mazur’s (2008) necessity guideline requires researchers to examine whether any dimensions are necessary for a phenomenon to be included in analysis.

34 Gender Expertise in Public Policy Dimensions Guideline Goertz and Mazur (2008) urge scholars to consider the dimensions or defining characteristics of their concepts, acknowledging that many qualitative scholars fail to enumerate an explicit list of characteristics that comprise their concepts. Creating a detailed list of explicit characteristics can be difficult, especially when a concept contains dimensions that are themselves rather large and difficult to understand. In the case of gender expertise, the concept includes three complicated concepts in their own right: knowledge, expertise, and gender.

Other descriptions of feminist theory focus on the aspect of inequality. For instance, Walby (2000) defines feminist theory as an “attempt to explain the nature and complexities of gender inequality” (238). While Riley (1999) identifies the focus on inequality, in addition to gender, as the organizing principle of societies and that gender is socially constructed as one of three ideas that are central to most feminist thought. In earlier work, Chafetz (1988) distinguishes feminist theory from other gender-relevant theories using the following criteria: gender is the central focus of theory, feminist theory views gender relations as inconstant and problematic, it uses gender to explain inequalities, and feminist theory can be used “to challenge, counteract, or change a status quo that disadvantages or devalues women” (5).

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