The production of the gender norm


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Ai Tam Le

Dr Claudia Matus, Director of the Center for Educational Justice, Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile

Location: Join in person at Room L915 (Level 9, 100 Leicester Street) or via Zoom (Password: 492185)

In this presentation, Dr Claudia Matus will present a research study undertaken between 2019
and 2021 in Chile in which gender was conceptualized as a category with agency (Rosiek,
2018), underlining its vitality, despite the theories and research methodologies we use. It is
argued that gender, as a norm, responds to different theoretical frameworks, analytical
perspectives, and methodological practices to continue producing essentialized difference
between men and women. We understand the gender norm as not defined by some specific
mechanism, such as biases or stereotypes, economic structures or discursive processes, but
instead, we propose that the gender norm is an ordering activity that, at times, involves all of
these mechanisms. Our guiding questions are: How can something like the gender norm be
at the same time justified as a biological difference between men and women, as naturalized
cultural and psychological interpretations of that biological difference, as economic
unbalanced structures that denigrate women, and discursively subject producing practices
that affect the human experience? How and when should we emphasize one or the other?
To address these questions, we work as an interdisciplinary research group that includes
representatives from biology, anthropology, ecology, aesthetics, sociology, education,
psychology, philosophy, journalism, and the arts.

Bio note

Dr Claudia Matus is the Director of the Center for Educational Justice and Associate Professor at the College of Education at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile. Her current research interests include the production of the gender norm in scientific research and public spaces; the question on how to research the vitality of concepts, and the exploration on how a BioSocioCultural framework, as a way to question linearity and stability in the production of knowledge about the relation of human and non-human may help us advance possibilities for change. Her last book is titled “Ethnography & Policy: Entanglements of Normalcies and Differences in Schools” (Springer, 2019) where queer, feminist, and post-representational theories are used to explore on the implications of dominant ways of understanding the division between normal and different subjectivities to reiterate structures of inequality in schools.  Contact: