The Gender research theme focuses on questions of gender and contemporary social change, building on a long-standing tradition at Bristol of research and teaching on gender and feminist theory, dating from the era of ‘second-wave’ feminism.
Work on gender is carried out across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, with active researchers in the Graduate School of Education, School of Geographical Sciences (Human Geography), School of Law, School for Policy Studies and the Departments of Management, Politics and Sociology.
There are interdisciplinary collaborations with other parts of the University, in particular with the Department of Social Medicine and the Faculty of Arts, via the Gender Interdisciplinary Group (GIG). GIG organises seminar series and workshops on topics such as the future of feminisms, and emergent femininities and masculinities. It also has links with the World Universities Network Gender Studies Global Network.
The theme encompasses two major research groups:
- the Gender and Governance Research Group in the Department of Politics, which explores issues of gender and representation in structures of governance, and develops the study of militarisation, masculinities and femininities
- the internationally renowned Violence Against Women Research Group in the School for Policy Studies, which covers all forms of violence, from sexual abuse to domestic violence, and has extended its scope to carry out research in China and India.
Other policy work addresses issues of sex, gender, health and migration. Colleagues in the Department of Sociology focus on the gendering of work, family and parenting, sexuality and prostitution, and a group in the School of Geographical Sciences (human geography) leads work on feminist geography and neoliberalism.
Other activities include:
- Gender-related reading groups, such as the Gender and Governance Reading Group in the Department of Politics, the Bluestocking Reading Group on Feminist Theory, a joint initiative between the Department of Management and the Graduate School of Education, and the Feminist Theory Group.
- Various seminar series, such Fragmented Bodies, a collaborative venture with the University of the West of England, and the Gendered Futures series, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and hosted by the School of Geographical Sciences.
- The recent award of a three-year ESRC Fellowship to carry out research into mercenaries and masculinity, which will serve as a basis for further exploration into masculinities and militarism.
- The recent appointment of two lecturers specialising in gender in the Department of Sociology.
- Contributions by colleagues in the Department of Management to a special issue of the Journal of Management and Organisational History based on a previous seminar series.