Gender and Politics readings

This week we wish to recommend two readings from researchers of our Gender and Politics group. The first is the book by Ghufran Khir-Allah (2021) Framing Hijab in the European Mind.

This book compares how British and Spanish media have covered the French ban on hijab wearing in public schools. Using interdisciplinary approaches ranging from social psychology, semiology, cognitive linguistics and sociology, it seeks to explain how the hijab is interpreted as a sign by the mainstream culture, and hijab-wearing Muslim sub-culture. Based on an analysis of 108 articles published in the national newspaper from each context, this comparative study operates on two levels: a micro-level analysis of within-culture variations between mainstream culture and the hijab-wearing women; and a macro-level analysis of the cross-cultural variation between the British context and the Spanish one. The result is a profound insight into how each discourse reveals the different level of social integration of hijab-wearing women in these two different contexts. The Analysis methodology combines between Critical Discourse Analysis CDA, Conceptual Metaphor Theory CMT, and Cognitive Linguistics CL. The book introduces a novel analysis methodology for social and linguistic sciences. It is the Cognitive Critical Discourse Analysis methodology CCDA.

The second reading we recommend is the article by Paloma Caravantes (2020) Tensions between populist and feminist politics: The case of the Spanish left populist party Podemos. International Political Science Review. Open access, DOI:

This paper analyzes the interplay of left populist and feminist politics through a case study of Podemos (‘we can’), a Spanish left populist party that reproduces a dominant gendered logic of politics despite its feminist interpretation of democratic renewal. I argue that this is the result of fundamental contradictions between the feminist and populist projects of political transformation that coexist in the party. Even if left populism offers a more productive terrain for gender equality than right populism, central tenets of populism disrupt feminist commitments and goals. Chief among these are the oversimplification of the political field based on a limited diagnosis, the exclusionary appeals to the homeland and to a homogenizing collectivity of the people, the dominant masculine and personalistic logics of charismatic leaders, the prioritization of electoral success over other forms of political transformation, and the resulting gendered political culture that marginalizes empowerment, inclusion, and participatory democratic practices.
¡Buena lectura!