Gender analysis and social change: Testing the water

Carol Bacchi, Joan Eveline, Jennifer Binns, Catherine Mackenzie, Susan Harwood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The title to this chapter indicates the major goal of the Gender Analysis Project: to identify the factors that could create gender analysis as a long-term process of emergent changes to the asymmetrical power relations between women and men. The sub-title, ‘testing the water’, indicates that it was written in the early stages of the project. However, it is important to note that the papers are not strictly chronological in their production. The Chief Investigators (Bacchi and Eveline) took turns as ‘lead authors’ and Chapter 4, with Eveline the lead author, was actually completed before this chapter, with Bacchi the chief author. Insights from Chapter 4 are therefore incorporated in this chapter. The resultant analysis represents a cross-fertilisation of ideas, as is the nature of collaboration. The chapter emphasises the importance of involving policy workers actively in practising gender analysis (that is, in applying gender analysis guidelines), a significant learning outcome for the project (Chapter 12). We also suggest that it is useful to conceptualise and to talk about social change in a different way, as the unpredictable effect of complex and continuous processes, occurring ‘somewhere in the middle’ and therefore always involving ‘unfinished business’ (see Introduction; see also the discussion of the ‘rhizomatic’ in Chapter 6). This approach directs attention to the everyday work practices that reproduce gendering as an always- incomplete relation of inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMainstreaming Politics
Subtitle of host publicationGendering Practices and Feminist Theory
PublisherUniversity of Adelaide Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780980672381
ISBN (Print)9780980672398
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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