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More than Women and Men: A Framework for Gender and Intersectionality Research on Environmental Crisis and Conflict

  • Amber J. FletcherEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Water Security in a New World book series (WSEC)

Abstract

Over the past two decades, the important role of gender in environmental and water-related crises and conflicts has been increasingly recognized. Environmental crises occur in social contexts imbued with gender and other power relations. Existing literature in this area has examined how gender shapes issues of water access, use, governance, and adaptation to environmental crises. Gender, however, has been variously construed and theorized in this work. From essentialist to poststructuralist perspectives, the theorization of gender is key to its application in the environmental sector. In this chapter I present an overview of several major theoretical conceptualizations of sex and gender, ranging from the biological essentialist to the poststructuralist. I identify how gender has been variously used in the literature on environmental crisis and conflict. Key debates about ontology (essentialism) and representation (universalization) are highlighted. Drawing upon (and drawing together) these earlier theoretical insights and debates, I ultimately suggest a conceptual framework for doing multi-level intersectional research on environmental crisis and conflict. The framework helps to address the current tension between highly context-specific analyses and overly structural treatment of gender. The framework aims to help “scale up” the insights of intersectionality while still appropriately attending to the ongoing relevance of gender across contexts.

Keywords

Gender Sex Feminist theory Intersectionality Essentialism Materialism Poststructuralism Feminist political ecology Social reproduction Environment Water Crisis Conflict 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social StudiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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