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S-AFRIKA-Program for forskningsamarbeid med Sør- Afrika

Gender in the Deliberative Public Sphere

Tildelt: kr 0,15 mill.

The question of the gender in relation to rhetoric studies understood as the discipline tasked with studying public argumentation and popular deliberative practices that are at the heart of a social and liberal democracy, has undergone radical development s in the past twenty years. It has led to a diversification of rhetoric theory and practice concerning democracy and deliberation, and, in keeping with Third Wave Feminism, has made rhetoric studies a field of excellence to re-examine gender-in-politics. South Africa's consolidated democracy stands firmly by its constitutional principle of non-discrimination on the basis of gender as well as a sustained policy of gender redress and progress (if 52% percent of South Africans are women, 29% are elected to wn councillors and 18% are mayors, while their ratio in Parliament is one of the highest among democratic states). South Africa offers a field of enquiry on the rhetoric of gender on a new and challenging scale, unknown before in the South, while Norway p rovides a touchstone or reference for achieving gender parity. The project will establish: 1) A typological understanding of what rhetoric studies call 'ideographs'or how the media construct visual arguments regarding, in this case, gender. 2) A typology of verbal arguments concerning gender as they are played out in the public arena (political and corporate) with regard to policy making, whether the issues are or are not gendered (examples: rape crimes, or defence policy). 3) A typology of what rhetoric calls 'taken-for-granted', that is, sets of arguments and styles or arguing which operate without public debaters or agents being aware of their usage and effect on audiences. Our aim is to make a significant contribution to gender studies and to rhetor ic studies by providing historical, theoretical and practical comparative analyses about women as subjects of public deliberation and as objects for public deliberation.


S-AFRIKA-Program for forskningsamarbeid med Sør- Afrika