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Title: Mainstreaming equality at the Scottish Executive : the discursive construction of policy
Author: Bilton, Katherine
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis addresses the central paradox of gender and equality mainstreaming, namely that the remarkable diffusion of the strategy and its widespread adoption has been in stark contrast to the lack of evidence for any significant change in either governmental practice or concrete outputs. The opportunities afforded by constitutional change in the UK to embed new norms and values in institutional design have been well exploited. Suggestions that Scotland provides a positive environment for the development of mainstreaming, however, have neglected the importance of the Civil Service as a force of continuity. This thesis addresses this gap. A key aim of the thesis is to provide insight into the possibilities of inserting gender into an organisation designed with man in mind and exploring what it means to ask bureaucrats to work within a new frame. It locates this question in a study of the day-to-day interaction of policy makers directly involved in mainstreaming. The importance of framing by feminist advocates in securing the adoption of mainstreaming has been established elsewhere. The thesis examines the consequent potential for frame conflict between the norms and values of feminism and bureaucracy, and its implications for policy implementation. A key finding of the thesis is how frame conflict has been managed, or deferred, through a continual process of re-framing which is ultimately detrimental to policy implementation. Identifying and illuminating the underlying epistemological conflict between feminist and bureaucratic frames takes us beyond a simplistic understanding of patriarchal resistance as an explanatory factor for the lack of further progress in mainstreaming. It demonstrates that mainstreaming is fundamentally challenging to civil service ways of working and knowing, going to the heart of the way people operate in, and make sense of, their world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available