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Gender, Migration and Development: Can advocacy groups be more of a hindrance than a help?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sally Shortall, Professor Ruth McAreaveyORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The social world is complex and ever changing. However, to function, we need shared common knowledge for social relations and social interaction. We need categories of people, and assumptions about collective identities. While this is necessary to manage social interaction, it also leads to debates that question the essentialism of collective attributes and identities. In this article we argue that advocacy groups campaigning for the rights of women and migrants can sometimes reinforce an understanding of these groups as static and unchanging and this impedes their development. The article contends that advocacy groups, can, unintentionally, reinforce stereotypes. Two different data sets, both drawn from Northern Ireland, are used to explore this question. Our case studies raise global questions about the need for critical analysis and reflection on the strategies used by advocacy groups to advance social equality

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shortall S, McAreavey R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social Sciences

Year: 2017

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 13/05/2017

Acceptance date: 09/05/2017

Date deposited: 27/06/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2076-0760

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/socsci6020049


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