A critique of 'new' rural local governance: The case of gender in a rural Australian setting

Pini, Barbara M. (2006) A critique of 'new' rural local governance: The case of gender in a rural Australian setting. Journal of Rural Studies, 22(4), pp. 396-408.

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Over the past decade rural social scientists have demonstrated significant interest in documenting the new forms of governance emerging in rural and regional areas. However, little attention has been given to examining the gendered aspects of these new arrangements. This paper takes up the issue of gender and governance in rural areas by reporting on the establishment, membership and practices of a new governing organisation in a local government area in a small rural township in Australia. Men hold almost all positions on the 19-member board of this institution charged with facilitating development in the shire. This is not surprising, given women’s exclusion from the male-dominated networks from which appointees are selected. While this numerical dominance is important,it is not just the presence of men’s bodies that is of concern to this paper. Also of interest is the way in which hegemonic discourses of masculinity are privileged by board members. This includes an emphasis on competition, entrepreneurialism, and aggression, and a focus on economic concerns over and above social issues. In conclusion, there may be a lot that is ‘new’ in the governance of contemporary Western rural nations, but what is not is that these forms of governance are gendered, just as the traditional state has always been, in a way that excludes women and feminine subjectivities.

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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 8442
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author. Author contact details: b.pini@qut.edu.au
Keywords: rural local governance, gender, rural Australian setting
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2006.02.002
ISSN: 0743-0167
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Elsevier
Deposited On: 03 Jul 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2015 00:13

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