Vulnerability in the making? How intersectionality and masculinity theory can bring light to climate injustice in urban climate policy
AbstractThis paper focuses on urban climate policy, drawing on poststructural feminist theories, examining whether an awareness of intersectionality and norms of masculinity can improve urban climate policy in terms of climate justice. Research on intersectionality and masculinity in relation to climate change as well as climate policy is reviewed, followed by an analysis of climate change related policies in Helsinki in Finland and Johannesburg in South Africa. The focus of the analysis is on gender, but other social lenses are also identified. While neither of the cities’ climate policies explicitly includes gender, Johannesburg has a (very low) acknowledgement of intersecting social issues in which the factors ethnicity, poverty and age are most present. Strategies mentioned both within reviewed research as well as the policies of analysis can be explained by the so called ecomodern masculinity that is dominating in climate policy-making today. All in all, the paper aligns with literature arguing that there is a lack of gender-awareness in urban climate policy, risking to accelerate climate injustice. The paper concludes that an awareness of norms of masculinity as well as intersecting social structures of domination is a first step to designing urban climate policies that contribute to climate justice.
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