The Violence of Impact: unpacking relations between gender, media and politics
Engaging in public dialogue is a crucial part of the impact agenda, but what are the politics of this engagement? What happens when female academics engage with, or are reported by media, in disseminating their research? Does negative impact ‘count’ as impact? Adopting a poststructuralist intersectional feminist analysis, this article uses the REF policy agenda as a case study in order to explore these questions. Drawing on extensive qualitative interview data, I operationalise the concept ‘cultural sexism’ as a mechanism to connect micro and macro analysis; using cumulative individual experiences to render visible wider social and political power structures. This article argues that while women may seek to actively build impact and public engagement in to their research agendas, we need to be cognizant that the site of interaction between media and academia is gendered and raced. I argue that we therefore need to reflect upon the ethics of pursuing a policy which: 1) disproportionately exposes a diversity of women to structural and symbolic violence; 2) has the potential to silence women’s contribution to knowledge and; 3) conversely may serve to simply privilege masculinised assumptions as to what does and does not count as knowledge.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
Citation : Savigny, H. (2019) The Violence of Impact: unpacking relations between gender, media and politics. Political Studies Review,
Research Group : Media and Communication Research Centre
Research Institute : Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School