Key Research Areas
The Centre has the following key research areas:
The concept of social inclusion seeks full access to society for all of its members, and is currently high on the agenda of the Australian Government as well as in international forums.
In spite of many apparent advances in the position of women, gender disadvantage remains one of the most intractable dimensions of social exclusion and inequity - for instance in terms of access to financial resources, housing, paid labour and leisure time. Hence addressing gendered inequities in their many forms - economic, spatial, social, cultural - must be a crucial goal in the pursuit of any model of social inclusion.
The Fay Gale Centre actively pursues research in the social sciences which engages with the concept and goals of social inclusion and equity. It also actively pursues theoretical and applied understandings of the intersections of gender with other dimensions of disadvantage and exclusion, such as race and ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and class.
Whether conceptualised as involvement in formal political processes (for example standing for parliament), or in wider terms as participation in the ongoing life of the community, citizenship is an important concept for analysis of the gendered organisation of society.
The division between the public and the private upon which our political systems are built is itself a gendered division. Thinking citizenship in terms of gender thus requires rethinking such everyday issues as labour force participation, domestic labour and child-rearing, and the framing of what counts as 'public debate'. Thinking gender in terms of citizenship encourages us to ask about who is recognised as a member of the community, whose voices are heard, and what empowerment involves in particular contexts. Developments in globalised communications, social media and internet activism add new dimensions to these questions.
Research at the Fay Gale Centre pursues studies of gender in politics, gender activism, and social movements, seeking to document and reconfigure the gendered assumptions and practices that inform political life.
Gender and health are deeply implicated in one another. There are ongoing gender patterns in who accesses health services and in how they are treated as gendered patients. Health itself is frequently conceptualised in gendered terms, with some illnesses constructed as being particularly feminine, while masculinity may be constructed in contrast as a state of physical and mental invulnerability.
The politics of reproductive policy are inextricable from understandings of gender and sexuality, often reproducing norms of heterosexuality and biological understandings of nature and nurture that have inequitable effects on non-traditional families. Such issues become more complex as advances in medicine offer new opportunities and techniques for managing reproduction and new ways of thinking about gender identity.
A number of researchers at the Fay Gale Centre are pursuing research in the fields of public health, health policy, and health discourse which promise productive ways of expanding the gendered limits of health practice, and enhancing health outcomes.