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Invoking Work Knowledge: Exploring the Social Organization of Producing Gender Studies

CANCELLED DUE TO THE AU CORONA DIRECTIVE. With Rebecca Lund (Post.doc, Center for gender research, University of Oslo). Spring Seminar Series on ‘Livability, Hate and Ethnographic Methodologies’.

2020.03.06 | Gritt B. Nielsen

Date Wed 15 Apr
Time 12:00 13:30
Location Room D217, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Campus Emdrup, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen NV

Rebecca Lund (Post.doc, Center for gender research, University of Oslo)
In this seminar I will discuss using Institutional Ethnography for studying my own academic community, Gender Studies in Finland. I reflect on the productive potential of work knowledge - a core concept within Institutional Ethnography - through an account of a research journey from institutional capture to discovery. The presentation will be based on a study I conducted of epistemic inequalities within gender studies, from the standpoint of feminist academics. My initial plan for the research project was to focus on how experiences of epistemic exclusion where organized by Finnish neoliberal reforms of universities and hegemonic feminist epistemic orientations. However, I learned that my interests in epistemic exclusion and hegemonies blocked me from seeing people´s actual relations, activities and challenges. Theory became an institutional capture. In hindsight, looking for theoretically structured explanations could be seen as a mode of handling an emotionally loaded situation. It offered me a certain distance from a situation which was caused insecurity and vulnerability to myself as well as my participants. The particular analysis I was able to produce in the end, was only possible through a focus on the work of producing gender studies – that allowed me to take seriously the complexities and contradictions of people’s experiences, and their socially organized possibilities for participation. However, this also involved putting aside theory.


Everybody is welcome, no registration necessary.

Organized by the research project ‘Fighting for e/quality: comparative ethnographies of new student movements.

Lecture / talk