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Title: Beneath the spectacle : gendering 'the everyday' in the British House of Commons
Author: Miller, Cherry Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5700
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis sets out to look at the operation of gender ‘beneath the spectacle’ in the British House of Commons. It develops a ‘fleshed-out’ analytical framework combining Judith Butler’s (2011) theory of gender performativity with Feminist Discursive Institutionalism to analyse the operation of gender across three sets of institutional actors. Following Waylen’s (2015) call for a gender audit of the ‘male domination’ of British institutions of democracy, it applies a gender lens to analyse everyday working practices in the British House of Commons. It conceives of ‘male’ domination as performative, inherently tenuous, and incessantly repeated every day. The thesis combines this analytic framework with ethnographic methodology based on four and a half months of field work in the 2010-2015 Parliament and 68 semi-structured interviews, to explore and analyse the complex interaction between institutional rules, gender(ed) norms and gender(ed) identity. It finds that gender(ed) identity is scripted across three ‘discursive institutions’: the career cycle, citizenship and public service, where sex/gender hierarchies are reproduced. It argues that rather than adopting a binary conception of ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ interactional styles, different institutional contingencies make different performances of gender more likely, though they are not determining. As such, the thesis presents a rich analysis of gender performance and finds considerable contingency, mosaicism and overlap. Finally, the thesis finds significant obstacles that must be overcome in order to ‘undo’ patterns of (dis)advantage within current institutional arrangements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JF Political institutions (General) ; JN101 Great Britain