The Geography and Gender Research Group is a consolidated study group that analyses gender within the field of geography. It was founded in 1987 by Dr Maria-Dolors Garcia-Ramon and it is pioneering in introducing the gender perspective in Catalan and Spanish geography. The Group’s main objective is to consolidate the feminist perspective in geography, and achieve gender mainstreaming in the subject in terms of research objectives, theories and methods.
Since its beginnings, and in order to expose the importance of time and space in women’s lives, the Group has worked in different fields of geography, in particular in urban and rural geography and the history of geographical thinking, following the interests of their members and taking into account the social context of any given time. In all the research topics the Group has made extensive use of a qualitative and critical methodology.
The gender focus has made it possible to pay far more attention to diversity, and not just of gender, but also of class, age, ethnicity, sexuality or ability, among others and to work on the intersection between identities. Research has been carried out on the basis of subjectivity, reflexivity and positionality and we have used all spatial scales of analysis, from the global to that of the body: We have open up to such aspects of life as emotions, which are so closely related with experiences and the configuration of places. These ideas are present today in many areas of human geography and not only in those in which gender plays a central role.
In the last ten years the Group has been developing a consolidated line of research within the Anglo-Saxon geography, and that is Children’s Geographies and Youth and Families Geographies. It covers a variety of aspects of the everyday lives of such groups, such as the use and appropriation of public spaces, the sense of belonging to a place, the search for autonomy, the impact of the present economic crisis, the associative network and awareness of one’s environment, the intersection between identities and place, and the geographies of sexuality. It also carries out research on migrations, in particular social relations and life expectations of qualified migrants. One of the major topics up to now has been the use public spaces (urban and rural) and participation in public life. Within the framework of postcolonial studies in the history of geography, research has been undertaken on the role of female travellers in the colonisation processes (19th and 20th C). Within the area of rural studies, the Group has been carried out research into the everyday lives and labour experiences of professional men and women in the modern-day rural world, and the construction of new femininities and masculinities in rural settings.
Nowadays the Group develops and hosts different research projects in Geography and Gender as well as in Social and Cultural Geography, both fields of research share the idea that knowledge is socially, culturally and politically constructed, and it is inter-related with power structures. Finally, the purpose of the Group is to continue its goal of making further progress in a type of research that is inclusive and non-sexist.