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Geschlecht, Emotion und Politik

[research report]

Sauer, Birgit

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract "The women's movement and feminism tend to intimize, to destructure and therefore to depolitizise the public sphere. This accusation is quite popular in the german speaking feminist academic community. What happened to the politics of subjectivity, to the feminist political strategy of overcoming the split between public and privat as well as rationality and emotion? I argue that feminist political science as well as malestream political science is 'emotionblind'. This means that emotions are treated as forms of perception, of acting and evaluation that are different from political perceptions and political action. Emotions are outside of the political space – either making the field of politics chaotic (malestream political science) or conzeptualized as a means to feminize and humanize politics (some feminist approaches to female political partizipation). These contradicting appraisals of emotion, gender and politics is putting the connection of gender, emotion and politics on the agenda of feminist political theory. I suggest an approach which conceptualizes emotion as socially and politically constructed. The recent notion of emotion was constructed at the same point in history as gender, with the formation of the capitalist state and the bourgeois class. Gender and emotion build a historical dispositive (Foucault) which emotionalizes women and the private sphere and de-emotionalizes men and the public sphere. The separation of women and men as well as rationality and emotion is a means of control. The notion of an emotional dispositive says that political space is structurally gendered and emotionalized: The dominant mode of beaurocracy – rationality – is the organized hierarchy of male over female as well as rationality over emotion. The Weberian seperation of beaurocracy and (charismatic) politics constructs the public sphere as male and seperates 'good' emotions (Vaterlandsliebe/ love for the country) from 'bad' emotions (sexuality)." (author's abstract)
Keywords gender studies; emotionality; politics; feminism; political culture; gender; political science; political theory
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Political Science; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Document language German
Publication Year 1997
City Wien
Page/Pages 28 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 46
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications