Grounding Gender and Climate Change: A Reflexive Research Approach in Oaxaca, Mexico

Authors: Miriam Gay-Antaki*, Colorado College
Topics: Gender, Cultural and Political Ecology, Political Geography
Keywords: Gender and climate change, Mexico, feminist geography, postcolonial scholarship, reflexive methods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In this paper, I set out to question why a gender agenda is being pushed alongside a climate change agenda, what these projects look like in the communities and households where they are implemented, and the impacts and reception of these projects while attempting to avoid perpetuating colonial representations of people that we study. This paper uses feminist geography to ground environmental governance around gender and climate change by calling attention to the micropolitical and everyday practices of the lives of people in Mexico involved in gender and climate change interventions. Using postcolonial insights and reflexive approaches, I seek to problematize tendencies in climate and development work that homogenize gender and erase the agency and autonomy that women have always had outside of western spaces. Through reflexive research, a methodology that responds to both feminist and postcolonial practices, I attempt to attenuate representational violence encountered in gender and climate change work. Writing myself into these stories addresses my complicity in the power relations that perpetuate global discourses, and writing about the relationships with my research subjects sheds light on the ways in which they influence, perform and produce new understandings of global discourses in my presence. Rather than reporting my results as a passive observer, I intend to tell stories as someone who is also negotiating, performing in and transforming meanings in the sites that I study.

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