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‘It’s about gender equality and all that stuff…’: enacting policies on gender-based violence into everyday preventive work in rural Sweden

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Drawing from the experiences gained from a research project focusing on gender-based violence (GBV) in rural Sweden, this paper focuses on how government policies aimed at addressing GBV against girls and young women are enacted, translated and contested at the regional and local level. In previous studies the regional level is seldom focused on, and we know very little of the connection between the local and regional levels. The paper is based on analysis of interviews with key policy actors at the regional and local levels, including school personnel. Departing from policy enactment combined with institutional ethnography, the paper explores how policies on GBV are translated into prevention activities, but also how the different actors enact the policy in relation to the institutional setting and professional role. The analysis also shows how the enactment is entangled in understandings of gender, race, equality and traditions. The analysis makes the different power relations visible, and the production of power in policy is better understood, as it highlights how some dimensions are given priority in relation to others.
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Keywords: gender-based violence; institutional ethnography; policy enactment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 2019

This article was made available online on August 26, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "‘It’s about gender equality and all that stuff…’: enacting policies on gender-based violence into everyday preventive work in rural Sweden".

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Gender-Based Violence (JGBV), is the first international journal based in Europe to show case the work of scholars across disciplinary and topic boundaries, and from a range of methodologies.

    The journal acknowledges both the breadth of gender-based violence (GBV) and its links to gendered inequalities. It aims to continue to document the voices and experiences of victims and survivors of GBV, to publish work regarding those who perpetrate GBV and of the varied and complex social structures, inequalities and gender norms through which GBV is produced and sustained. The journal recognises the intersection of gender with other identities and power relations, such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, faith, disability and economic status.

    JGBV will publish high quality papers that contribute to understanding of GBV, policy, and/or activism, on sexual violence, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based violence, prostitution, trafficking and/or reproductive violence and abuse in a wide range of intimate, familial, community and societal contexts.

    The editors invite interest from scholars working across the social sciences and related fields including social policy, sociology, politics, criminology, law, social psychology, development and economics, as well as disciplines allied to medicine, health and wellbeing.

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