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Embodied Institutionalism: A New Model for Gender Equity Reform

Project description

An innovative method for advancing gender equality

Progress towards effective gender equality seems to be too slow. The EU’s new Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2050 sets out key actions and ensures an equality perspective will be included in all EU policy areas. The focus of the EU-funded EIGER project is on education. It will study current reforms of the tertiary level aimed at advancing gender equality. Specifically, the project defines as embodied institutionalism an innovative method based on the integration of influence, embodiment and institutions. It will carry out a comparative analysis of the higher education contexts of Australia and Europe since the two show significant differences, focusing on how the effective and embodied standards typical to these contexts influence the favourable outcome of educational reforms related to gender equality.


The proposed interdisciplinary project,‘Embodied Institutionalism: A New Model for Gender Equity Reform’ (EIGER), will investigate how the value and limitations of emerging and existing reforms in higher education settings can be linked in part to their ability to constructively engage the embodied and affective capacities of institutional actors. EIGER examines how the embodiment (e.g. gender, ethnicity, race, nationality) of institutional actors, and the lived experience of these actors in tertiary settings, significantly bears on the success of any given institutional intervention to advance gender equity goals. This integrated focus on affect, embodiment, and institutions represents an innovative theoretical approach, which I call embodied institutionalism (EI). My embodied institutionalist (EI) framework recognizes the importance of attending to localized ecologies of affect that influence gender-based outcomes. Higher education contexts in Australia and in Europe exhibit marked differences. Engaging in a comparative analysis of how the affective and embodied norms particular to these contexts affect the success of institutional reforms and assist to sustain gendered inequalities promises to illuminate creative, local solutions to issues of gender inequity, and to have significant value for theorists and practitioners working in the non-academic as well as academic sector.


Net EU contribution
€ 162 806,40
14195 Berlin

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Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 162 806,40