On April 27-28 2017, the Gender and Enterprise Network, a Special Interest Group of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship organised and hosted a unique, inspiring and intellectually stimulating think-space for gender theory. Thirty international attendees gathered for two days to learn about and discuss the underpinning philosophies that we use to study gender, with a focus on critical realist philosophy.
Invited speakers included Dr Dave Elder-Vass (Loughborough University), Prof John Kitching (Kingston University), Dr Elina Meliou (Newcastle University London), Dr Helen Mussell (Cambridge University), Dr Michiel Van Ingen (London School of Economics), Prof Julia Rouse (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Angela Martinez Dy (Loughborough University London); Dr Lena Gunnarsson from Lund University in Sweden provided a video presentation.
Topics included the core principles of critical realism, empiricism and social constructionism, agency and reflexivity, feminist standpoint theory and intersectionality, how to be both realist and constructionist about gender, and potential applications for these concepts in gender, entrepreneurship, management and organisation research.
Multiple roundtable sessions and dedicated networking time enabled deeper discussion and debate, creating an open and collaborative learning environment in which participants could query, challenge and examine the concepts presented in the speaker sessions. The content and format of the event aimed to make explicit our often implicit methodological positions as researchers, and in particular, to encourage debate about normative philosophical positions within feminist approaches.
The think-space was co-sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre and the British Academy of Management Gender in Management Special Interest Group, and hosted by the Glendonbrook Institute for Enterprise Development at Loughborough University London. Attendees were positive and enthusiastic, sharing comments like: ‘I learned so much and was able to test and consolidate my thinking in so many ways,’ and ‘Critical realism resonates with me as a framework and I’m keen to explore it more.’ The Gender and Enterprise Network is extremely pleased with such a successful outcome, thanks our hosts and sponsors and looks forward to similar events in the future.
BAM Gender in Management SIG
in collaboration with ISBE Gender and Enterprise Network
Think-Space for Gender Theory
University of Loughborough – London (Stratford) campus
27-28 April 2017
(starting 10.00Hrs on 27 April, finishing 15.30Hrs on 28 April)
Social constructionism and constructivism have undoubtedly advanced our thinking about gender. Recently, however, researchers have asked if they can give a full account of gendering. Critical questions include:
- If gender has nothing to do with the body, how do we honour and account for physiological capacities exclusive to people with female reproductive organs like pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause?
- If the body is taboo due to an ontology that centres discourse, how do we talk about bodily implications of gender oppression like pain and violence and material inequalities?
- If ‘women’ is a discursive category devised to oppress, how can we speak of women’s interests and solidarity?
- How do we conceptualise and account for the experiences of transgender, agender, nonbinary people and cis women (assigned female at birth) without acknowledging the body as well as social processes?
- If we are all produced by society’s discourses, how do we theorise women’s agency and a process of emancipation?
In this 2 day ‘Think Space’ combining seminar and workshop formats, the BAM Gender in Management SIG and ISBE’s Gender and Enterprise Network (GEN) encourage an inter-disciplinary audience, taking as their springboard a recent Special Issue in the Journal of Critical Realism on gender theory. We aim to:
- Introduce critical realism to gender researchers
- Support constructive debate about the value of critical realism in comparison to social constructionism/vism as an ontology for gender research
- Begin to work with critical realism to think about feminist methodologies/themes
- Explore the implications of applying critical realism to Bourdieu’s theory of practice
- Dr Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London
- Prof Julia Rouse, Manchester Metropolitan University
- Prof John Kitching, Kingston University
- Dr Michiel Van Ingen, London School of Economics
- Dr Elina Meliou, Newcastle University London
- Dr Helen Mussell, Cambridge University
- Dr Dave Elder-Vass, Loughborough University
- BAM/ISBE Member – £100 (incl. dinner)/ £75 (excl. dinner)
- Student BAM/ISBE Members– £80 (incl. dinner)/ £55 (excl. dinner)
- Non- BAM/ISBE Member – £155 (incl. dinner)/ 130 (excl. dinner)
- Non- BAM/ISBE Student Member – £100 (incl. dinner)/ £75 (excl. dinner)
- ECRs who would like to attend but cannot gain support from their institution should contact the workshop organizers. Contact details are included at the end of this message.
We are not offering a day rate as we would like to encourage full participation in the 2-day Think Space. Early Career Researchers who can provide evidence that they are unable to gain institutional support to attend are invited to contact BAM to discuss whether payment of the doctoral fee might be a possibility.
We encourage registration from a range of disciplines and plan to create a space where researchers can consider the implications of critical realism for working for their own research and within or across their disciplinary boundaries.
BAM Members: Log into your account and proceed with the registration for the event.
Non-BAM Members (including ISBE Members): Please follow the steps below:
- Create a Non-BAM Member Account at Stay Informed.
- Complete your registration by emailing Oana at firstname.lastname@example.org calling the BAM office on 020 7383 7770.
If you are not a BAM member and would like to join BAM or find out more about the benefits of being a BAM member, please go to https://www.bam.ac.uk/membership-benefits.
Benefits of Attendance
– Deepening your thinking about the ontology of gender and, in particular, exploring social constructionism/vism, new materialism and critical realism
– Considering how critical realism relates to social theories such as Bourdieu’s theory of practice and to feminist methodologies and themes
– Engage in-depth with a friendly, inter-disciplinary audience
Loughborough University London
Here East 3 Lesney Avenue The Broadcast Centre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London
E15 2G, UK
Thursday Evening Meal:
Busaba Eathai, Westfield Stratford City
Nearest hotels are Premier Inn Stratford City, Staybridge Suites Westfield or Holiday Inn Stratford City. There are also a number of other hotels on Stratford High Street (Travelodge, another Holiday Inn, and The Westbridge).
BY TUBE: Take the Central Line to Stratford and then walk through the shopping centre to the Waitrose side. You can take the BT Shuttle for free from outside Stratford International by waiting at the lay-by/taxi rank in front of the Premier Inn Stratford City. It comes every 5 mins or so. SEE MAP.
BY BUS: We are at the Here East stop on bus line 388.
BY RAIL: Take the Javelin high speed train from St Pancras 1 stop to Stratford International. This costs about £7 for an anytime round trip ticket
Contact and Registration
For more information about the event please contact:
Dr Angela Martinez Dy email@example.com
Prof. Julia Rouse J.Rouse@mmu.ac.uk
For general information, please contact Oana Mihut at the BAM Office on +44(0)2073837770, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register: https://www.bam.ac.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=3256
Critical Realism, Gender and Feminism: Special Issue of the Journal of Critical Realism (15:5, 2016)
Email Enquiries to: lena.gunnarsson at oru.se
Submit online at: http://www.editorialmanager.com/rea/
An increasing number of gender scholars have become familiar with critical realism, finding it a robust alternative to the poststructuralist perspectives that currently dominate gender studies and feminism. This trend has coincided with an increased interest among feminist theorists in the issues of ontology, materiality and nature, which have always been at the heart of critical realist interventions. However, despite these thematic alignments, and despite the fact that both critical realism and feminist theory are inherently critical-emancipatory, the critical realist approach continues to occupy a marginal role within both feminist and gender studies debates. Concurrently, the field of critical realism is decidedly ‘masculine’ in nature, both in the sense that men dominate the field, and in terms of the issues with which critical realists have most commonly concerned themselves. Recent critical realist feminist work, the International Association of Critical Realism’s adoption of a proactive policy to enhance the representation of women in its organs and activities, and the growing critical realist preoccupation (particularly in Bhaskar’s philosophy of metaReality) with historically ‘feminine’ topics such as love, mark a potential shift away from these unfortunate trends.
In order to encourage the development of this emerging field of critical realist feminism and gender studies, as well as critical exchanges between the respective branches of critical realism (including dialectical critical realism and metaRealism) and feminist theory/gender studies, we are happy to invite submissions for a special issue of Journal of Critical Realism on Critical Realism, Gender and Feminism. We welcome not only contributions that draw on critical realism in studying gender relations and/or engaging with feminist concerns but also critiques of critical realism from feminist or gender-based points of view.
Topics of interest include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Critical realism and poststructuralist feminism/gender studies
- Critical realism and socialist/eco/radical/black/postcolonial feminism
- Critical realism and the ontological/materialist/naturalistic turn in feminist theory
- Critical realism and intersectionality
- Critical realism, metaRealism, love and gender
- Critiques/auto-critiques of existing critical realist work from a feminist/gender studies perspective
- Feminist epistemology, standpoint theory and critical realism
- Critical realism and feminist critiques of (social) science
- Examinations/critiques of feminist taboos on realism, nature and causality
- Critical realism and post-feminist culture
- Critical realism, dialectics and feminist deconstruction
- Revitalizing the explanatory feminist tradition: what is patriarchy?
- Critical realism and sexuality
- Critical realism and queer studies
- Critical realism and men/masculinity studies
- Critical realism, sex and gender identity
- Critical realism and gendered/sexual violence
- Critical realism, feminism, gender studies and war/conflict
- Critical realism and feminist ethics
- Critical realism and pornography
- Critical realism and feminist methods/methodology
- Agency, gender and critical realism
- Critical realism and feminist activism/politics
- Feminism, gender studies, critical realism and other realisms (Barad’s agential realism, post-positivist realism etc.)
- Critical realism as underlabourer for applied work in feminism/gender studies
- Critical realism, interdisciplinarity, gender and feminism
- Feminist spirituality and metaRealism
- Critical realism and feminist economics
Instructions for authors
Papers should be no more than 8,000 words (not inclusive of references). In all other respects, our instructions for authors apply. Please consult these at www.maneyonline.com/ifa/rea or use one of our recently published articles as a guide in setting out your work. Articles (as distinct from pieces for our Perspective and Debate sections) will be subject to external peer review.
Submissions need not be exclusively concerned with critical realism or its critique, but should relate their arguments in some significant way to critical realism. For instance, the main focus of an article could be Karen Barad’s feminist appropriation of Bohr’s agential realism, but it should include consideration of critical realism.
- October 1, 2015: deadline for first drafts
- February 26, 2016: reviewers’ reports and editors’ decision provided
- May 23, 2016: deadline for final drafts
- June 30, 2016: final copy due with the publisher
- October 2016: publication of the special issue online and print
Enquiries and submissions
Please send any enquiries to lena.gunnarsson at oru.se Please upload articles for peer review to our online system, http://www.editorialmanager.com/rea/default.asp. When uploading you will be asked if your paper is for a themed issue. Please answer ‘Yes, the special issue on Critical Realism, Gender and Feminism’. If your paper is accepted but not included in the special issue, it will appear in a subsequent issue. Please send any other material for the special issue to lena.gunnarsson at oru.se.
About the Journal
Journal of Critical Realism is the journal of the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR), established in 1997 to foster the discussion, propagation and development of critical realist approaches to understanding and changing the world. It provides a forum for scholars wishing to promote realist emancipatory philosophy, social theory and science on an interdisciplinary and international basis, and for those who wish to engage with such an approach.