ERIC Number: EJ744254
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
A Critique of "New" Rural Local Governance: The Case of Gender in a Rural Australian Setting
Journal of Rural Studies, v22 n4 p396-408 Oct 2006
Over the past decade rural social scientists have demonstrated significant interest in documenting the new forms of governance emerging in rural and regional areas. However, little attention has been given to examining the gendered aspects of these new arrangements. This paper takes up the issue of gender and governance in rural areas by reporting on the establishment, membership and practices of a new governing organisation in a local government area in a small rural township in Australia. Men hold almost all positions on the 19-member board of this institution charged with facilitating development in the shire. This is not surprising, given women's exclusion from the male-dominated networks from which appointees are selected. While this numerical dominance is important, it is not just the presence of men's bodies that is of concern to this paper. Also of interest is the way in which hegemonic discourses of masculinity are privileged by board members. This includes an emphasis on competition, entrepreneurialism, and aggression, and a focus on economic concerns over and above social issues. In conclusion, there may be a lot that is "new" in the governance of contemporary Western rural nations, but what is not is that these forms of governance are gendered, just as the traditional state has always been, in a way that excludes women and feminine subjectivities.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Local Government, Case Studies, Gender Issues, Governance, Masculinity, Rural Areas, Cultural Influences, Cultural Background, Criticism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia