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    Equal but Different: Gender Discourses in the Social Relations of Irish Peacekeepers & Possibilities for Transformation


    Graham, Shirley (2013) Equal but Different: Gender Discourses in the Social Relations of Irish Peacekeepers & Possibilities for Transformation. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    Equal but Different: Discourses in the Social Relations of Irish Peacekeepers & Possibilities for Transformation Motivated by the lack of action and transformation of gender relations within peacekeeping since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 in 2000, this study explores the gendering processes within the Irish Defence Forces that position women and men in particular roles informally and which act to support or inhibit women’s access to peacekeeping missions. Through discourse analysis this study reveals ‘equal but different’ as the dominant discourse on gender relations within the Irish Defence Forces and uses this discourse as a lens through which to assess the overarching question: ‘How does the “equal but different” discourse distribute power in different contexts and what impact does that have on women’s inclusion in PSOs?’ By drawing out the empirical data from the accounts of 28 women and men participants the findings reveal what women bring to a mission; inhibitors to their participation in missions; and transformative possibilities. The study’s major contribution is that it reveals multiple contradictory discourses depending on the context. Of particular importance to the feminist agenda is this study’s new empirical data on Irish peacekeepers and the development of critical alternative discourses on gender as a result of women’s presence in missions. These alternative discourses have the potential to transform gender relations by positioning women and men in the ‘third space’ which holds ‘equal, ‘different’ and ‘multiplicity’ of subjectivities simultaneously. This ‘third space’ creates a bridge between the liberal and critical feminist debates on women’s participation in peacekeeping, through its development of a new concept ‘add women and transform’. The ‘add women and transform’ concept is borne out of the empirical findings revealing how the presence of women in the military is leading to the creation of new critical discourses, and although they are muted, they have the potential to challenge unequal power dynamics within the military if they are supported by gender mainstreaming policies and a shift in peacekeeping practices.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Gender Discourse; Social Relations; Irish Peacekeepers; Transformation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 4776
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 10:14
    URI:

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