ANZSOG’s Sophie Yates’ gender research wins international award
17 April 2018● News and media
ANZSOG Research Fellow Sophie Yates has won the Osborne Best Paper Award for the best paper by a new researcher at the International Research Society for Public Management’s 2018 Conference in Edinburgh.
Her paper, titled “Applying ‘big G’ and ‘small g’ gender to Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence”, explored how expert witnesses and the Commission itself framed the problem of domestic and family violence (DFV). Problem framing is important because the way policy problems are framed has implications for the actions that are taken to address them, which then affect real-world outcomes.
A related article by Ms Yates, “Power, Process, Plumbing: Big G and Small g Gender in Victoria’s Family Violence Policy Subsystem” has just been published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration, and focuses on the impact of people’s understandings of gender in the domestic and family violence system.
The article draws on interviews with policy actors whose work is relevant to DFV, exploring how they understand gender. Ms Yates uses examples from interviews with policy actors to connect participants’ understanding of gender with their attitudes to the role of gender in DFV, and discusses the practical and theoretical implications of her research for feminist DFV advocates and policymakers.
Using a framework of ‘big G’ (categorical) and ‘small g’ (process) gender to explore the various ways different actors talked about the concept, Ms Yates explains why varied definitions of gender pose a problem for feminist DFV advocates.
— Janine O’Flynn (@JanineOFlynn) April 12, 2018
Ms Yates concludes that big G, categorical understandings of gender may be associated with reluctance to accept the role of gender in DFV (especially in family violence as broadly conceived), and that the adoption of small g gender and intersectional feminist theory helps us to understand what structures and processes lie behind incidents of DFV, how to factor them into policy analysis, and how we might act to alter them.
Ms Yates said she was very happy to receive the award, and to see work on gender recognised at a mainstream public management conference. The prize was jointly awarded to Yunxiang Zhang of Fudan University for his paper on co-production in Shanghai-based bike sharing schemes.
Last year, Ms Yates and ANZSOG’s Professor John Alford won the Institute of Public Administration Australia’s Sam Richardson Award for their work on the co-production of public services.
The award is presented annually to the authors of the most important or influential article published in the Australian Journal of Public Administration, as judged by the AJPA’s editorial board and representatives of the divisions of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.