A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbiligin
Chapter 11: ‘Gender Competence’: Gender Mainstreaming, Managing Diversity and the Professionalisation of Gender Politics in Germany
Michael Meuser INTRODUCTION The subject of this chapter is a process of professionalisation that is, at least in Germany, at the very beginning. The outlines of this process are quite unclear at the moment, and it is by no means certain that a new profession will ultimately be established. In some European countries gender politics is already more professionalised than it is in Germany, especially in Scandinavia. But in most European countries gender politics is not yet (fully) professionalised. Because of the emerging and developing character of the process it is not possible to rely on current research results. Rather I shall present a rough sketch of a process that is of sociological interest in different aspects. Not only gender studies, but also the sociology of profession, of knowledge and of organisation provide important conceptual frameworks for analysing this process. I shall focus on aspects that are relevant for gender studies and for the sociology of profession. A NEW SHAPE OF GENDER POLITICS Since the early 21st century there has been a change in gender politics that might end in a structural change. This change is evoked by the new approach of gender mainstreaming which was established on an EU level in 1997 by the Treaty of Amsterdam. The implementation of gender mainstreaming (and of managing diversity, a politics that is becoming increasingly important in private enterprise) has resulted in a growing demand for a new type of knowledge and competence: ‘gender knowledge’ and ‘gender competence’. This is accompanied by...
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