Representations of women and girls’ charitable organisations 2008 to 2020

DOWRICK, Lorna (2023). Representations of women and girls’ charitable organisations 2008 to 2020. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Using a feminist and post-structural framework, this thesis explores three representations of women and girls organisations (WGOs) between 2008 and 2020- from regulatory data, from government policy and finally, WGO documents. The differences between each representation were explored using a unique methodology that incorporates the ‘What’s the Problem Represented to be?’ approach (Bacchi and Goodwin 2016) to demonstrate and critique the ways in which WGOs are constructed, represented and limited by the discourses of them and their work, and to assess the implications for gender equality. The thesis makes a number of important contributions to knowledge. It problematises defining WGOs to illuminate the ways in which the boundaries of the definition are permeable and contested. In operationalising a definition of WGOs for the study, it also reflects on the methodological implications of category choices for the inclusion and exclusion of certain groups and organisations. For the first time regulatory data has been used to advance empirical understanding of the size and shape of WGOs as a group. New knowledge has been generated about which particular kinds of WGO have experienced what types of changes in income, size and location. In the process it has created a dataset of organisations that can be used for further research, but also highlights the scope, complexity and limits of this knowledge. The findings also highlight that discourses about WGOs are limited resulting in insufficient consideration of WGOs, their work and the women and girls they support. Important new questions about how and why WGOs are missing from broader voluntary and community sector (VCS) debates and are marginalised within VCS research are also raised. These findings are of particular importance in light of persistent gender inequality and concerns about the sustainability of WGOs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Rob Macmillan, Prof. Chris Dayson and Dr. Chris Damm.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2023 16:25
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 11:16

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