Archive Resource
Add To Reading List
Year: 2010 Type: Article Language: English

In this article, Harcourt argues that conventional development approaches to gender and empowerment are constraining and unimaginative, and do not foster lively, authentic debate. Instead, in development, people tend to limit their definitions of gender and empowerment to acceptable terms to avoid conflict or funding cuts. She looks at pop culture that celebrates and sells images of empowered women (Lady Gaga in particular) and compares this to the depoliticized notion of ‘empowerment’ in development, and suggests that development practitioners need to reach out further than the constraining environment of development and in the process change development itself. Harcourt points to new media and communications technologies that can be harnessed to create spaces and engage a variety of people with development debates and to make development more adventurous and creative, arguing that doing so would do much to help us get out of discourses of professionalism that create institutions afraid to open up because they fear argument and difference.

Resource is available online though Development Journal.

View Online