Gender Perception and Craftivism

I’ve been putting Ashely’s feedback to practice and have been switching up my terminology so that my dissertation sounds more formal; going back through my dissertation to change how it sounds has actually helped me to write the next section much more formally. I have been able to take out all the personalisation and approach my writing in a much more professional manner.

Having written my first section, which outlines what craftivism is, and my second chapter which explores the use of the internet to create communities, and examines the recent resurgence in craft that occurred from the 1990s onwards; it was time to start in on my next chapter, gender perception and craftivism.

I had some difficulties in starting this chapter. I like to work in order, so I tried to start with the introduction but since I didn’t know what I was planning to write about, I found it really difficult. So I started to write little bits in each subsection, piecing together my ideas while reading journals and books that would help me gather my thoughts. This past week I’ve been trying to write a little bit of my dissertation each day in the hopes that I would hit inspiration or ‘get in the flow’ and be able to write more than 86 words a day, which actually happened! Yesterday was a super good day for me on the dissertation front, I read two journals, found loads of quotes that matched up to the idea in my head, and also helped me to start writing out my argument. I managed to crack out three good paragraphs and managed to write to basic structure of my mini introduction, which I can then add more detail too after having finished each subsection.

From 3.0 Gender Perception and Craftivism: ‘The key idea examined within this chapter will be the complex relationship between gender and craft; exploring the research into the growing understanding of gender as a socially constructed idea within society, as analysed by feminist psychologists throughout the 1960s, to more recent writings, and how these have defined the behaviours of men and women for centuries. This chapter will also explore briefly, the split between art and craft that happened during the ninetieth century and how that’s has impacted craft for both men and women, before going on to further examine the different views expressed on femininity and craft, and masculinity and craft, along with the preconceived notion therein, before finishing with discussion on how gender perception, within craft, and therefore craftivism, is being challenged.’

I’ve also been trying to find images to go into my dissertation, using the database area on MetSearch but I was having some difficulty finding what I wanted. I did manage to find a little section from a priest cote that showed subversive embroidery made in the fourteenth century, but for more modern craftivist work, I was having a real problem. I started to google images just to get an idea of what I wanted, and while researching 1970s feminist textile I came across Judy Chicago, who, along with other artists, create the installation The Dinner Party which has been on exhibition since 1979 in the Brooklyn Museum.

I really liked the reasons behind this instillation, it was about bringing recognition to all the female artists that had been left out of art history.  Anyway, I thought these images would fit in really well with my dissertation so I started looking on the MetSearch databases to see if I could find some but nowhere on there, so what did I do? I emailed Judy Chicago to ask for permission to use her images in my dissertation, which I got *happy dance*.

While yesterday was a good day, today was a non-academic brain day, which really sucked because I was hoping I would be able to finish the first two subsection and start exploring how gender perceptions have been changing within the craft world, but theres always tomorrow.


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