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Gender, Diversity and the European Public Sphere

Helene Pristed Nielsen

No 24, EUROSPHERE Working Paper Series (EWP) from Eurospheres project

Abstract: This paper is an exercise in asking new questions from old theories. New questions that lead to new theoretical considerations, and to new ideas for how to design studies and analyze data. The American psychologist Abraham Maslow reputedly said ‘When all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail’. Building on this metaphor, this paper is an attempt at redesigning the tools we use, to see if we might hit on some other ‘truths’ than the ones we used to hit before. In this case, the suggestion is not to discard our old tools or theories altogether, but simply to take a critical look at them, to assess what they are good for, and then adjust them to meet our present needs. As this paper is intended to contribute to the Eurosphere1 research project, ‘present needs’ are here defined as the need to research citizen participation in the European public sphere from a diversity perspective. So why ask about gender and diversity in connection with analyses of the public sphere?

Date: 2009-10-01
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