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Gendering in Research

Talks by Steffen Madsen, AU and Thekla Morgenroth, Exeter University

Info about event


Thursday 30 November 2017,  at 11:00 - 14:00


IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312




11:00 - 12:00 Talk by Steffen Madsen

12:00 - 12:30 Discussion and sandwiches

12:30 - 13:30 Talk by Thekla Morgenroth 

13:30 - 14:00 Discussion and sandwiches  


Coming out of the closet - a social and interactional accomplishment

Coming out of the closet is a social and interactional accomplishment. But how do we achieve linguistically and socially to be in the closet, to come out of it – and to go back in for that matter?

This talk presents a queer theoretic linguistic ethnography of the sexual identity work referred to as ‘coming out’. Based on qualitative interviews with volunteers from Danish LGBT institutions, autoethnography and conversation analyses of video data, I will present an open-ended linguistic and semiotic catalogue of the social practices of coming out as gay or lesbian and of being in the closet.

In addition, I will present observations from my critical discourse analysis of the material, especially the moral and temporal dimensions of both types of practices.

Join me for a critical discussion of the notion of ‘the coming out story’, micro identity management in social interaction and their macro structural and heteronormative conditions of possibility.  


Steffen Madsen, MA graduate in linguistics


Gender Trouble meets Social Psychology:

Exploring the psychological mechanisms underlying the reinforcement and the disruption of the gender binary


Thekla Morgenroth, University of Exeter and University of Gronningen

Co-author on paper: Michelle K. Ryan, University of Exeter

More than 25 years ago, Judith Butler called upon society to create “Gender Trouble” by disrupting the binary system of sex, gender, and sexuality. According to this system, biological sex is seen as binary (male vs. female), essential and natural and it is assumed to form the basis for binary gender and sexual attraction. Butler criticizes this view and argues that gender, rather than being an essential, biologically determined quality, or an inherent identity, is a performance which is reinforced by societal norms and creates the illusion of two natural, essential genders. In other words, rather than being a man or women, individuals perform the characters of men and women – with negative consequences if they fail to do their gender right.



We argue that Butler’s philosophical approach to understanding gender has many resonances with, and implications for, a large body of gender work being conducted by social psychologists. Despite these clear similarities, little theorizing and research within social psychology has directly drawn on Butler’s ideas. We argue that there is great value in bringing the ideas Butler puts forward in “Gender Trouble” into social psychology. We therefore integrate Butler’s work into the social psychological literature and, extending the metaphor of gender performance discuss four ways in which Gender Trouble can be created: (a) deviating from the script (i.e. behavior-based Gender Trouble), (b) putting on a different costume (i.e., body or appearance-based Gender Trouble), (c) playing a different character (i.e., category-based Gender Trouble), as well as (d) dismantling the stage (changing the physical and social context). We will put forward empirically testable propositions of how each of these four notions of Gender Trouble can affect both psychological attitudes and behaviors as well as perceptions of gender as binary and essential, discussing the potential of creating Gender Trouble as well as the barriers Gender Troublemakers are likely to encounter.


The Gendering in Research Network provides a platform for gender researchers and students at Aarhus University to discuss, collaborate, and exchange ideas. For further information about the Gendering in Research Network, please contact: Lea Skewes, IMC Theresa Ammann, IMC

The Gendering in Research Network provides a platform for gender researchers and students at Aarhus University to discuss, collaborate, and exchange ideas. For further information about the Gendering in Research Network, please contact: