Gender issues in action research: implications for adult education
Heiskanen, Tuula (2006)
International journal of lifelong education 25 5
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Gender equality is a widely recognized value. Still, on the practical level, it is not easy to achieve true gender equality. Gender has proved out to be a complicated issue both for research and practice. Gender change projects trying to make changes in detected disadvantages have repeatedly run into a problem: it is difficult to take gender issues on the agenda and it is difficult to keep them there. With three case examples, this article addresses the question why it is difficult to approach gender issues in change projects and what conditions make it less difficult. It deals with the potential of action research of making a contribution to gender issues and emphasizes that change projects need a concept of gender which includes the relevant aspects of social structure and social process. In conclusion, the article presents implications for adult education, especially the challenge of developing concepts of empowerment and agency to comply with the postmodern condition and the challenge of creating spaces for interpretation and action.
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