A few weeks ago, Christina Scharff’s article ‘Disarticulating feminism: individualization, neoliberalism and the othering of “Muslim women”’ appeared in the European Journal of Women’s Studies. The article discusses the findings of her qualitative study on young women’s engagements with feminism in Britain and Germany. In particular, it focuses on two processes through which feminism was disarticulated: individualization and the othering of Muslim women. Research participants showed awareness of gender inequalities, but argued that they could navigate structural constraints individually and self-responsibly. The article shows that the respondents’ self-presentation as empowered contrasted sharply with the portrayal of ‘other’ women as victims of patriarchal oppression. The article concludes by demonstrating that the respondents’ construction of empowered selves is constituted by the othering of Muslim women.
You can read the article.
In June, Qualitative Research in Psychology will publish Christina’s article on combining performativity theory, discursive psychology and theories of affect. This article forms part of the special issue ‘Pluralism in Qualitative Research in Psychology’. Please see below for the abstract and the full reference:
Butler’s performativity theory has had an impact on many disciplines, but its use in conjunction with discourse analysis has not been developed. This article introduces a pluralist methodological framework that combines performativity theory with discursive psychology, itself a variant of discourse analysis. By exploring critiques of discursive psychology, such as the perspective of cultural psychoanalysis, the article delineates complementarities between Butler’s performative approach and discursive psychology. However, it also argues that theories of affect, and particularly Ahmed’s performative approach, provide further insights and should be used in conjunction with Butler’s performativity theory and discursive psychology. By critically engaging with performativity theory, discursive psychology, cultural psychoanalysis, and Ahmed’s approach to affect, the article puts into dialogue various bodies of literature to construct a pluralist methodological framework.
C. Scharff (2011) Towards a Pluralist Methodological Approach: Combining Performativity Theory, Discursive Psychology and Theories of Affect, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 8:139–150.
Christina is also speaking at various events and conferences. In April, she gave a paper entitled ‘Social identities and social divisions – young women talk about feminism’ at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association. On May 11th, she gave a talk about ‘Women and beauty’ at the V&A. The event was organised by NIVEA VISAGE. It included dinner in the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Sculpture Gallery and a private tour of the Cult of Beauty exhibition.
Christina will give two more papers in June. One presentation will focus on ‘Gender and precarity: reflections on cultural work’ (ESRC seminar series: ‘Young Women in Movement: Sexualities, Vulnerabilities, Needs and Norms’, Goldsmiths College, London). She will present the other paper at the fourth conference of the Psychosocial Studies Network in Brighton on ‘Affect, subjectivity and discourse: evaluating different theoretical approaches’.