‘It’s about gender equality and all that stuff…’: enacting policies on gender-based violence into everyday preventive work in rural Sweden

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  • 1 Mid Sweden University, Sweden
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Drawing from the experiences gained from a research project focusing on gender-based violence (GBV) in rural Sweden, this paper focuses on how government policies aimed at addressing GBV against girls and young women are enacted, translated and contested at the regional and local level. In previous studies the regional level is seldom focused on, and we know very little of the connection between the local and regional levels. The paper is based on analysis of interviews with key policy actors at the regional and local levels, including school personnel. Departing from policy enactment combined with institutional ethnography, the paper explores how policies on GBV are translated into prevention activities, but also how the different actors enact the policy in relation to the institutional setting and professional role. The analysis also shows how the enactment is entangled in understandings of gender, race, equality and traditions. The analysis makes the different power relations visible, and the production of power in policy is better understood, as it highlights how some dimensions are given priority in relation to others.

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