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Certifications in gender equality in Science: activism and institutional change

Grant number: 22/12923-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): January 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Fonseca de Almeida
Grantee:Tsamiyah Carreño Levi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Educação (FE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The many initiatives to increase the participation of women in research implemented by universities, research support agencies, professional associations, among others, indicate the importance that this issue has assumed in the scientific space. More recently, certifications aimed at universities to recognize and encourage these initiatives have spread across different parts of the world. How to explain its emergence and diffusion? This research mobilizes contributions from the literature on institutional isomorphism and the sociology of activism and social movements, articulated with a gender perspective, to study the production of the Athena Swan certification in the United Kingdom and its diffusion across two other countries, the United States and Canada. , where he gave rise to the SEA Change and Dimensions certifications respectively. The three certifications offer a seal to universities that meet certain gender equality goals at different career levels. To this end, they guide the formulation of standards and protocols that govern different aspects of university life, with the potential to bring about significant organizational changes. They are similar to each other, a result of their common origin, but they present significant differences, signaling the importance of the local context in their conception. Based, on the one hand, on the study of the concepts mobilized by these certifications and the university practices they encourage, and, on the other hand, the social and professional trajectories of the individuals involved in the development of these initiatives, as well as the networks in which they are articulated and the resources they mobilize, it will be possible to understand their genesis and diffusion. The study will be supported by document analysis (projects, minutes, reports, CVs) and interviews with participants in these processes. We believe that this will make it possible to advance the understanding of the processes through which the international circulation of ideas, government instruments and models of justice have contributed to advancing the cause of gender equality in scientific organizations. (AU)

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