Gender, technology and energy. A Post‐doc gender analysis of the energy sector
Energy transition is one of society’s main questions ahead, and this challenge has been acknowledged at least since the late 1970’s. Despite this acknowledgement, inertia in several energy sectors make these transitions difficult. In order to come to terms with such inertia we need to unpack social factors that contribute to making the energy sector resistant to change. One such factor is the gender imbalance in the power sector. Historically, energy has up until this day been a very unequal sector dominated by men as showed not least by state agencies such as the Swedish Energy Board and public-private analysis of late (Energimyndigheten, 2015; Tam, 2017; C3E, 2017; Barnholt, 2017). The basic summary of their reports are that any successful transition needs to take this gender inequality into account. Looking more closely into this domination, it is historically a certain form of masculinities, called industrial/breadwinner, which has dominated the socio‐technology of energy during modern times (Hultman & Pulé, 2018). In particularly this can be seen in extractive industries such as coal, gas and oil, hydropower developments as well as in the nuclear industry (Filteau, 2014; 2015; Anshelm, 2000; Öhman, 2007). As many scholars, particularly those dealing with energy and environmental issues from an ecofeminist perspective, have robustly suggested, men in general are the creators and maintainers of the dominating fossil fuel and nuclear energy infrastructures which are outdated due to their negative climate consequences and high risks of accidents (Anshelm & Hultman 2014; Buck et al. 2014; Hultman, 2013). This proposal builds on ground-breaking gender research already undertaken by the applicant, and aims to understand the intersection of gender, technologies and energy. Research methods will be interviews, document studies and participatory field work. Results will contribute to education materials for energy companies and global theory development in gender studies as well as open up more space for women in the energy sector.
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