The Journal of Gender Research: Open issue

Hel forside av Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 1-2024

The first issue of this year presents two articles and a book review that are showcasing knowledge from different geographical points of view, ranging from the situation of LGBTQ+ individuals as a minority in the Faroe Islands to women's citizenship in Arab states and the emergence of anti-liberal politics in Hungary. In addition, this issue includes an article that explores collective strategies for feminist knowledge production.

DOI: 10.18261/issn.1891-1781


The Invisible Undercurrent
Migration and belonging among LGBT+ minorities in the Faroe Islands

By Firouz Gaini

This article presents an exploration and analysis of LGBT+ minorities’ position in the Faroe Islands, a Nordic Atlantic society, from the 1940s until today. The Faroe Islands is sometimes categorized as a Nordic ‘exception’ in societal debate about minority rights and gender equality policy. How can we explain this image of being an ‘exception’ among Nordic neighbours? The aim of this article is first and foremost to present a critical discussion on LGBT+ minorities’ migration between the Faroe Islands and Denmark (with Copenhagen as the main centre for the Faroese Diaspora), based on a theoretical approach combining knowledge and concepts from interdisciplinary gender and island studies. The article contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the social positions and cultural strategies of sexual minorities from relatively small and remote island communities in transition. It draws on four biographical interviews and a large amount of information from Faroese media productions: newspapers, journals, documentaries, and so on. The article forms part of the author’s comprehensive anthropological research from the Faroe Islands, which has contributed with knowledge on identity, gender/masculinity and social transformations in island communities.

Keywords: Migration, island communities, LGBT+, sexuality, gender identities, rights, religion

Women’s access to divorce in Arab states 1956–2021: Family law, state formation and widened citizenship

By Rania Maktabi

In January 2000, the Egyptian parliament passed a divorce law known as khul’ that violated Islamic jurisprudence. The ripple effects of Egypt’s change in law, twenty years later, show that eight out of eighteen Arab states have implemented divorce reforms that give women an autonomous right to divorce. The question can be asked why authoritarian Arab states have shown a willingness to strengthen women’s civil rights over the past twenty years.
Changes in divorce laws since the turn of the millennium in states with a high degree of religiosity, such as Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, show that changing family law is difficult, but not impossible, to implement. Despite opposition, reforms have been adopted since 2000 in parliaments, and through decrees and administrative orders. This observation moderates Htun and Weldon’s theoretical assumption that changes in family law – a field they call ‘doctrinal politics’ – are difficult to implement because of conservative religious norms (Htun og Weldon 2018, 134–135).
This article argues that political authorities in some Arab states, especially monarchies, seek to centralize and consolidate their power through standardization of legal rules that strengthen state power in family law. State-building theories provide fruitful insight into processes for the development of citizenship, including in authoritarian regimes (Rokkan 1975, Bendix 1977).
Keywords: Family law, divorce, Arab states, women, stateformation, authoritarian regimes, citizenship, civil rights, juridical rights, Htun & Weldon, status politics, Islamic law

Collective analysis of immigration policy: Feminist research methods in practice

By Helga Eggebø and Anne Balke Staver

In this article, we take a cue from the concept of “slow research” to explore how to work with critical thinking and collective methods in our own research practice. Our case is a 2022 analysis workshop, inspired by Collective Qualitative Analysis (CQA) (Eggebø 2020a) and the “What is the problem represented to be?” approach (WPR) (Bacchi and Goodwin 2016). A five-person project team took part in the workshop and helped analyse immigration policy documents. We describe how we carried out the analysis and discuss the experience in light of lessons from the literature on collective qualitative methods. We conclude that, in our case, the combination of the procedures of CQA and WPR was a useful way to advance and integrate the project. But the most important benefit of collective approaches is that they can open space for creativity and critical thinking. The concreteness of the CQA and WPR approaches, coupled with good process management, can scaffold a safe space for imagination and creativity. At the same time, we argue that it is possible to create good group processes with different methodological and theoretical approaches, and that the development of collective ways of working in academia is an ongoing practice we encourage students and researchers to take part in.

Keywords: Collective qualitative analysis, WPR, slow scholarship, feminist methodologies, immigration regulations

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