You and I aren't so equal : the visual representation of gender inequality in the contemporary New Zealand workforce and the visual manifestation of inequality in Wellington's southern suburbs : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Visual and Material Culture at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Inequality abounds. It is a complex issue that a#ects all manner of environmental, political, economic, and social factors. It underlies many detrimental phenomena including sexism and crime. Inequality holds an ambiguous presence in academic scholarship yet it a#ects the lives of many. To show how inequality is registered within the social fabric is one aim of this thesis. Epidemiologists Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson (2010) begin to propose inequality as a concept that can be seen in daily life. Based on this proposition, the present studies investigate the visuality of inequality across three chapters. Despite much progress, gender inequality and inequity remain present in the contemporary New Zealand workforce. As has been highlighted in much feminist theory, gender and women’s studies, representation is a significant factor in the activation of gendered identities and positive visual representations of women can reduce gender inequity. Tertiary education providers were turned to for analysis on the basis that educational inequalities develop into workplace inequalities. Specifically, selected visuals from Massey University’s College of Creative Arts and four trades training institutions (Unitec, Wintec, Weltec, and the Open Polytechnic) were analysed to reveal indexes symptomatic of inequality. These are undertaken to examine whether women are represented equivalently to data and if non-governmental organisations are implementing governmental suggestions for change.The final chapter addresses inequality in public space manifest in the form of graffiti, postering, visual sign, and demonstration determined as ‘interventions’. A set of theoretical lenses including the work of Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, and Alfred Gell, is used to examine a selection of interventions in relation to concepts of power, landownership, current a#airs, authorship, site-specificity, and surveillance technologies. Here a cultural reading of the visuality of inequality is made. In sum, this thesis posits two everyday places as sites where discourse on inequality visually manifests so as to better understand its cause.
Equality, Sex role in the work environment, New Zealand, Wellington, Visual and material culture