Gender Mainstreaming

Gender Preference and Decision Control: the Analysis from the Perspective of Power

Liu XiaoHong, Li Na
College of Public Administration of Central China Normal University
Journal of Huazhong Normal University(Humanities and Social Sciences) 2011-5

Abstract:Gender power means a universally existing gender inequality or sexual domination. Based on the analytical framework of power theories of scholars including Dahl, Bachrach, Baratz and Lukes, this research analyses how the power of gender exclusion operates from three facets of power i.e. significant preference and decision-making, the mobilization of bias and non-decision making, and preference shaping and decision-control respectively. Through the analysis, it indicates that the dominant gender power reins women by making gender-preference decisions, establishing or reinforcing barriers for the conflicts to be public; the non-decision making eliminates gender issues in decision-making by four forms of absence, restraint, concealing and misjudgment; disadvantaged gender groups are willingly accept the unequal gender order by shaping and leading gender preference, producing false consciousness and hiding the real interests of women. This paper claims that one-way “dominant power” in gender relationship should be transformed into gendered – friendly “cooperative power”, thereby promoting harmonious diversity and comprehensive development of gender groups.
Keywords:Power dimension, gender consciousness, preference shaping, gender exclusion, gender harmony

Paper type:Published