eCite Digital Repository

Selective hearing: The gendered construction and reception of Inquiry evidence


Cook, K and Natalier, K, Selective hearing: The gendered construction and reception of Inquiry evidence, Critical Social Policy, 34, (4) pp. 515-537. ISSN 0261-0183 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors Sage Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/0261018314538796


In this paper we present a case study of the gendering of evidence in family policy reform. We examine the characterisation of data as legitimate or illegitimate in a recent Australian Inquiry into child support and custody issues. Using critical discourse analysis, we examine how Inquiry committee members interpreted personal anecdotes and social scientific data presented by witnesses. Data were characterised as legitimate when confirming an existing stock story of fathersí disadvantage in an unfair child support system; these data were treated as evidence of a widespread social problem. Data that challenged the stock story were rejected as offering an inappropriate basis for policy reform. We conclude that in these reforms, the type of data, be it social scientific or anecdotal, was not as important as its alignment with a priori understandings of the nature of the world and the policy problems to be solved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:evidence-based policy, family policy reform, feminist policy analysis, post-separation parenting
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Natalier, K (Dr Kristin Natalier)
ID Code:97285
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-12-10
Last Modified:2015-05-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page