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Accepted Paper:

Scientists against 'genderism'. Forms of knowledge (production) in academic critiques of Gender Studies  
Marion Naeser-Lather (University of Innsbruck)

Paper short abstract:

The paper analyses the role of gender knowledge in the critique of Gender Studies by academics in Germany. It shows that such argumentations are received by religious, conservative and right-wing publics and have an impact on discourses on the liberalization of gender relations and migration.

Paper long abstract:

In Germany, the academic subject of Gender Studies has been attacked recently not only by right-wing parties and movements, but also by fellow-members of the scientific community. In my contribution, based on a discourse analysis (Jaeger 2009), theme-centred interviews (Schorn 2000) and participant observation, I analyse the role of gender knowledge in such academic anti-Gender Studies discourses. It can be shown that the main point of critique are the (de)-constructivist conceptualizations of gender and accordant kinds of knowledge production by Gender Studies scientists while the "gender-critic" scientists themselves proceed from a two-sex and gender system starting from two different epistemological standpoints: a biologistic positivism vs. a referral to C.G. Jungs archetypes based on Christian faith. Gender knowledge is put into position to support argumentations which aim to discredit Gender Studies. The 'gender' critic scientists mainly act on public and media discourse levels; they are received and are ascribed high authority above all in religious, conservative and right-wing publics. They also have an impact on contested socio-political theme complexes such as the liberalization of gender relations (e.g., discussions on marriage for all or sexual education) and intervene in discourses on migration, backing up argumentatively the anti-emancipatory and nationalist discourses of right-wing parties and movements like the Alternative für Deutschland or the Demo für Alle. The academic gender knowledge produced by the 'gender' critic scientists thus still works as an instance of final justification, like Arnold Gehlen (1957) has formulated it referring to scientific knowledge in general.

Panel Gend02
New gender dynamics? Instrumentalization of gender in European neo-national and right wing movements
  Session 1 Monday 15 April, 2019, -