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    Gender equality as biopolitical governmentality in a Neoliberal European Union

    Repo, Jemima (2016) Gender equality as biopolitical governmentality in a Neoliberal European Union. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 23 (2), pp. 307-328. ISSN 1072-4745.

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    This article argues that European Union (EU) gender equality policy operates as a technology of biopolitical and neoliberal governmentality. Through a genealogical examination of EU policy documents and relevant demographic research, I examine how EU gender equality policy emerged as a means to reorganise women's work and personal lives in order to optimise biological reproduction and capitalist productivity by simultaneously increasing women's fertility and their labour market participation. Gender is argued to be an extension of the apparatus of sexuality as analysed by Foucault, enabling a more complex, expansive, and effective form of biopolitical regulation by promising to simultaneously reproduce life and economy. Moreover, gender is inseparable from the neoliberal context in which it is deployed as an “invisible hand” targeted at empowering sexed subjects to self-manage and self-govern by making reproductive choices based on cost–benefit analyses of their personal and working lives.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 14:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:14


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