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Law – Gender – Collectivity. Processes of standardization, categorization and generating solidarity

Among the most contentious issues of western democracies are questions about belonging and participation. Law plays a central role here - either as a reference point for the formulation of claims, or as a goal for the shifting of existing borders. Out of this dynamic, new social conflicts, such as about antidiscrimination laws and the rights of workers, illustrate to whom the state belongs, about the rights of fleeing persons, and broadly about the possibility of equal participation for all in the practice of civic autonomy (Jürgen Habermas).

Against this backdrop, the interdisciplinary research group (FOR) will focus on the relationship between law, sex/gender and collectivity. We ask about the efficacy of gendered collectivity in a hegemonic male-oriented, hetero-normative, bourgeois and privatized tradition of law. With a deepened understanding of collectivization processes that are both legally standardized and gendered, we are interested in how current social conflicts present themselves, and how they may be understood and described with due complexity.

To this end, the FOR project accounts for multiple dimensions of collectivity - (social) collectives, ideas of collectivity, and processes of collectivization. It focuses on the intersections of law as a meaningful, socio-cultural field of discourse and activity, and sex/gender as a powerful social norm and structural category. The FOR goals are thus, firstly, added theoretical value for the fields of both legal studies and gender studies, and, with this specific focus, secondly, achieving a unique contribution to understandings of the meaning of collectivity in late modern societies from a transnational perspective.